Allies and Morrison’s £6 million overhaul of Ealing’s Arcadia shopping centre has started on site, just months before plans for a tall building on the plot look set to be resurrected
Due to complete in summer 2014, the retail-led overhaul is the first phase in property developer Benson Elliot’s vision to overhaul the high-profile west London site.
The landowner appointed Allies and Morrison to rework the plot in November, three years after a 26-storey residential skyscraper scheme by Foster + Partners and HKR was rejected.
The practice won planning to revamp the shopping centre side of the one hectare site in June and residential plans for the remaining land – potentially featuring a tower lower than Foster’s abandoned scheme – are expected to be unveiled before the end of the year.
A spokesperson for the project said new public realm and a tower element of ‘much reduced height’ would soon be unveiled to the local community now the project’s retail element has started on site.
Benson Elliot purchased the regeneration plot from the joint administrators for the previous owner and failed skyscraper bid backer, Glenkerrin, in October last year.
Unlike Glenkerrin, the company does not own the land to the north of the nearby railway tracks which had allowed previous designs to span the transport route with a very tall tower.
The £500 million Glenkerrin scheme was initially masterminded by HKR and John Pardey. In August 2007 Foster + Partners was parachuted in to on a 40-storey high-rise residential tower at the heart of the development. However the 40-storey, leaf-shaped structure was later redesigned following criticism from CABE and a 26-storey slimline version of the tower was subsequently unveiled in 2008.