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Developers picked for King's Cross 'megascheme'

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Argent St George, a joint venture between developer Argent Group and housebuilder St George (part of the Berkeley Group), has won the job to redevelop a 20ha site north of King's Cross and St Pancras Stations in London.

Architects working on the edaw masterplan include Allies & Morrison and Demetri Porphyrios, both of whom worked with Argent on Brindleyplace in Birmingham. Engineers are Ove Arup, landscape architect Townsend. Other architects will be called in to design individual buildings at a later stage. The site, to be known as King's Cross Central, forms part of a 52ha overall site which has been awaiting redevelopment for decades.

The development consortium has been picked by London & Continental Railways, the major landowner (working with another landowner Exel), which is to develop the Channel Tunnel Rail Link line to come into St Pancras Station.

Detailed designs have not yet been produced, though Argent St George has taken advice on feasibility and planning issues in drawing up the ideas, which were preferred to rival bids by Amec Developments and Lend Lease. The £1.5 billion scheme will incorporate office, retail, residential and urban entertainment uses as a 'distinctive destination', and will retain existing listed buildings such as the Great Northern Hotel.

Roger Madelin of Argent St George commented: 'We know our scheme has got to be an example of best practice for sustainable development.' Argent has experience of mixed development mainly through its work at Brindleyplace, Birminham while St George is responsible for a series of major inner urban residential schemes in London.

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