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Pinnacle build 'won't restart before Christmas'

Work on KPF’s Pinnacle will not start up again before the end of the year, meaning the £800 million City tower will have stood less than half-built for almost 12 months

Back in January the AJ’s sister publication Construction News revealed that contractor and development company Brookfield Multiplex had told workers to down tools at the Bishopsgate Tower following orders from scheme-backer and project partner Arab Investments.

A spokesperson for contractor Brookfield Multiplex confirmed to Construction News that work will not restart on the 288m-tall Helter Skelter skyscraper, which had reached around the tenth floor when work halted, any time this year.

‘All they have said is that they won’t be restarting before Christmas,’ the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson added that ‘there’s no date’ for a restart.

800phe_Londons_Pinnacle_under_construction__March_2012

Earlier this year Construction News uncovered that concerns over finance and costs had halted work. Brookfield’s website says that the completion was planned for 2015, rather than the original date of 2014.

In January, an Arab Investments spokesman denied suggestions that the site would be shut for up to six months.  

Arab Investments declined to comment this week.

The consortium of Middle Eastern investors including the Saudi Economic and Development Holding Company announced a year ago - September 2011 - that it had signed a deal to get the project back on track including a £500m debt facility from a group of lenders led by HSBC.

Brookfield is also waiting for the go ahead on the Allies and Morrison-designed 100 Bishopsgate scheme, where it is partnered with developer Great Portland Estates. Enabling works - including flattening the existing site and securing a double-sourced power supply, which is seen as critical in a City environment, are almost finished.

Once this is done, there will be no further work until 30 to 50 per cent of it is pre-let at the scheme, which has been tailored for an investment bank tenant, complete with a trading floor.

CN understands that discussions have been happening with a large number of potential tenants, but that they are reluctant to commit in the current climate.

Meanwhile discussions are ongoing over the sell down of the GPE share in the scheme, which it is hoped will complete before the end of the year.

Brookfield Multiplex is also ‘mandated to build’ Principal Place, after affiliate Brookfield Office Properties acquired it as part of a £518m deal for the Hammerson office portfolio.

Principal Place is a mixed-use development in the City of London with planning consent for a 57,500 square metres office building and a separate 23,000 square metres residential tower.

Skanska and Sir Robert McAlpine had been fighting it out for the scheme before the sale, but the construction of the scheme - along with any others in the portfolio -will now be done by Brookfield Multiplex.

The deal also included 99 Bishopsgate and 125 Old Broad Street, both in the City.

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