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Wilkinson Eyre falls foul of downturn in the market

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Developer Tishman Speyer Properties has shelved Wilkinson Eyre's office-led Aldgate Union scheme, planned for London's Tower Hamlets.

The property firm is very concerned about the current climate in the commercial office market and will not give the scheme the go-ahead without a pre-let.

Wilkinson Eyre's plans include the refurbishment of an existing 1980s building and the creation of a new 16-storey block to the east of the site, with a new glazed skin to unify the existing and new-build portions.

But Tishman Speyer leasing director Tim Warboys said that although the firm is still enthusiastic about the design, it is 'highly unlikely it will ever get on site'. Instead, he said, it will search for a client to take on the existing building. 'This is purely market-driven, 'Warboys told the AJ. 'There is no point in going ahead with a scheme if you don't believe there is any chance that you can lease it out.'

Nevertheless, Warboys insisted the designs could yet be resurrected. 'If we got a five-year lease on the current building and the market picked up, we might consider revisiting Wilkinson Eyre's designs, ' he added.

The abandonment of the Aldgate Union project comes amid growing concerns about London's speculative office market, and follows the news that Richard Rogers Partnership's £300 million Grand Union skyscraper scheme for Paddington basin has been put on hold.

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