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Canary Wharf rethinks Pelli office scheme as part of resi drive

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Canary Wharf Group is considering a change of plan on a yet-to-be-built high-rise office scheme by Pelli Clarke Pelli, it has emerged.

The news comes as the property development, investment and management company said it was placing greater emphasis on housing and shopping schemes as part of a major rebranding exercise.

Earlier this week, the group won outline planning permission for its 8ha eastward expansion, with a residential-led scheme masterplanned by Allies and Morisson and including a landmark high-rise tower by Herzog & de Meuron.

Group company secretary John Garwood told The AJ that in addition to the eastward expansion onto the site formerly known as Wood Wharf, the company was reappraising its northern expansion in the area of Canary Wharf’s new Crossrail station.

Garwood said that the estate’s 2.6ha North Quay site, which has planning permission for a high-rise office scheme designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli could be amended as part of the group’s residential and leisure focus.

‘We’ve got consent for North Quay, but we’re reviewing that and it may well be a mixed-use development,’ he said.

Garwood said that new access routes to the north coupled with the new Crossrail station – which will boast retail and leisure space, an Everyman Cinema and a rooftop garden – meant the area would become ‘a destination and that people will want to come and look at’.

Following Tower Hamlets Council’s decision on the Wood Wharf site, Garwood said it was hoped preparatory groundwork could begin before the end of the year for the scheme’s first phase, which in addition to Herzog’s One Wood Wharf, also includes towers by Stanton Williams, Grid and KPF, and an Allies and Morrison office building.

Canary Wharf  Group has outline approval for up to 3,610 new homes for Wood Wharf, and  350,000m2 of office space, which is being specifically targeted at technology, creative media and telecommunications firms.

Garwood said Canary Wharf’s existing incubator space for tech firms was already massively oversubscribed and that it was hoped that startups would grow into the new accommodation set to be built, and help shape smart data systems for the development.

‘We’ve had huge success in attracting technology companies to Canary Wharf,’ he said.

‘We think that the companies dealing with future cities will want to get in first at Wood Wharf.’

In addition to the eastward expansion, work has begun on Horden Cherry Lee’s 60-storey Newfoundland tower at the west of the estate.

The 611-home scheme is the Canary Wharf’s first residential development.

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