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Land Securities looks to restart Rafael Viñoly’s Walkie Talkie tower

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Britain’s largest developer, Land Securities, is understood to have pressed the go button on its mothballed Walkie Talkie tower – the clearest signal yet of returning confidence among the property big hitters

Sources said Land Securities had been active on the 155m-tall Fenchurch Street project in the City of London, designed by Rafael Viñoly, which has been on the drawing board since 2005.

Last week the developer admitted it was looking at moving forward three of its key sites in London’s West End, including Hamiltons’ Park House off Oxford Street (pictured below), although a Land Securities spokesperson only said it was ‘beginning to look at timings’ on the Viñoly tower, which received final approval last May (2009).

A spokesperson for AJ100 giant 3DReid said it had also seen ‘positive signs’ from Land Securities and the developer had ‘recently come back to [it] to look at a number of feasibilities’.

Sanya Tomic – a partner at Sidell Gibson Architects and responsible for the delivery of the Land Securities-backed £200 million One New Change office and retail development in London – said the developer was moving forward with several projects. ‘The indications are that there is more activity. They have a new London MD [Robert Noel] who will be keen to have a good start.’

The encouraging news comes as figures from the Office of National Statistics showed that the UK economy grew 0.1 per cent in the last quarter of 2009 – effectively meaning the country is out of recession.

Meanwhile, industry tracker Glenigan recently reported that the total number of UK projects on hold dropped by almost half in December (AJ online 20.01.10).


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