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Hotel group signs up to spark 'Shard' into action

The construction of Renzo Piano's 70-storey 'Shard of Glass' came a major step closer on Monday (7 February) after the project's developer announced it had secured its first pre-let.

Sellar Property Group has signed up Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts for more than a fifth of the floorspace in Renzo Piano's 84,000m 2 London Bridge Tower. If all goes to plan, construction of the 310m landmark, Europe's tallest mixed-use building, could begin early next year, with completion in late 2009.

Sellar Property Group chief executive Irvine Sellar said: 'Having secured London's most important planning consent in modern times for a building based on a stunning Piano design, a hotel group of ShangriLa's calibre is an ideal tenant for London Bridge Tower.

'We believe the hotel group's good reputation will further enhance this development and act as a magnet to international companies.

'The development's growing reputation as an iconic world landmark will prove irresistible to corporate users and the public alike, ' he added.

The 18,580m 2, 18-storey hotel will not affect the building's exterior design or plans for a public viewing gallery at the tower's apex, although changes have been made to plans of the interior since a planning application was approved in late 2003.

According to the project's development manager, Hamish McKenzie, the developer will need to let a further 30,000m 2 of offices before the £300 million construction programme can proceed.

'Now we need to make a building control application, but that will depend on finding another tenant, ' said McKenzie.

The hotel's interior design has not been formalised but it will incorporate gardens for certain suites, an infinity pool and a separate hotel entrance on St Thomas Street.

Shangri-La currently owns and manages 46 hotels across the Asia-Pacific region, with a further 30 under development.

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