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Home office rejects '33% cheaper' refurb option

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A consortium including bdp has dropped out of the Home Office competition to design a new pfi headquarters costing more than £100 million.

The battle for the design is now down to Terry Farrell & Partners with degw and Fitzroy Robinson with Pringle Brandon Botschi. bdp's scheme for Jarvis was a refurbishment of the Home Office's current base at Queen Anne's Gate.

But the Home Office favours a new-build option because 'best value for money' would be achieved by concentrating on one new block, it said. It has been given first refusal on the Marsham Street building, but staff have been told they will not move before 2004.

A Jarvis spokesman said: 'We are leaving our scheme on the table ... We believe a refurbishment would cost £100 million. New build costs would be probably £150 million to £180 million.'

The winning design is due to be chosen in February 2000.

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