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Minerva 'unlikely' says Grimshaw

The architect behind London's proposed Minerva tower has admitted that it is 'unlikely' the 50-storey scheme will be built.

Grimshaw director Neven Sidor, the design director behind the project, said the fact that developer Minerva was up for sale had caused the scheme real problems.

Sidor also said that the current state of London's commercial office market had left a major question mark over the skyscraper.

'There is a lot of doubt about what is going to happen to our proposals and we're not sure about what's happening. We don't think that they [Minerva] want to build it, ' he told the AJ.

'It is a shame because when we first met them as a client, we thought they were the kind of people that would see this through.

But they no longer seem interested.' And he said many of the problems on the project also emanated from the state of the rentals market. 'I think that the age of the million square foot letting is over and that is going to make building very tall extremely difficult.

'How long must one have to wait before we can see this through to fruition? If it ever happens, then it will be at least two economic cycles.' However, Sidor said he believed that if the site's new owners did decide to make use of the planning permission then they would have to retain Grimshaw. 'This is an important building that won planning permission because of design. I'm pretty sure we would stay on the scheme if it does ever get built, ' he added.

The Corporation of London's planning committee gave the green light to the 217m scheme in St Botolph Street in January last year.

The project, if it ever sees the light of day, would include 100,000m 2 of office space, ground floor retail space and a rooftop garden.

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