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Thames Tower skyscraper ditched for refurb plan

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Plans to create a new office skycraper in Reading, designed by Sturgis Associates, have been dropped in favour a refurbishing the existing building

The original design was for a new 25-storey building to replace the current 1974 Thames Tower building. The 27,900m² project, which would also have included shops at ground level, was to be completed by 2015.

However, project backer LaSalle Investment Management said that following a three-month review of options for the tower, it had reluctantly decided to pull the original plans in favour of major recladding and refurbishment of the existing structure.

La Salle said that the plan now was to strip the current building back to its structure, reshape and reclad it to create a highly-specified, modern office block.

It said that although the timetable for delivery was unclear, a refurbished tower would be created more quickly than a new building.

Although the original plans had received support from Reading residents, a new building was now deemed too risky.

LaSalle’s European director, Andrew Bull said: “Reading’s economy remains buoyant, but the problems in the European and UK economies are continuing for longer than anyone had expected. We do not have confidence that we can fill so much space at the rents required by such a costly building. The risks are simply too high.”

Sturgis Associates will continue to work on the revamped project.

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