Make’s 25-storey twin towers on London’s Albert Embankment are being redesigned as a hotel by Jestico + Whiles after the developer received ‘limited’ market interest in the flats
Ken Shuttleworth’s practice won planning permission in 2017 to build the 166-home scheme for developer Ocubis on the former Texaco garage site and neighbouring Vintage House.
But, after two years of marketing the scheme ‘extensively’, the developer has changed tack and is proposing a ’hotel-led’ scheme instead.
Ocubis confirmed it was bringing in Jestico + Whiles to deliver the 660-room hotel, to be run by an unnamed international operator, within the ’envelope of the consented buildings’.
Ocubis said ‘softening residential values’ and slow rates of sale, not to mention plenty of new housing in schemes such as Foster + Partners’ The Corniche and RHSP’s 18-storey Merano scheme, had all been factors that hindered the sale.
It is yet another setback for a contested site, which has seen a number of proposals fall by the wayside.
Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners had previously drawn up plans for the Thamesside plot in the Vauxhall, Nine Elms and Battersea opportunity area on behalf of Foxtons founder Jon Hunt.
In 2009 – and before the Vintage House warehouse site was included in the scheme – Ken Shuttleworth’s practice Make had also come up with proposals for a blade-like, 75m-tall building. However, Lambeth Council refused permission for the project.
Stephen Chatfield, development director at Ocubis said: ’The hotel-led scheme is expected to deliver twice as many jobs as the residential-led plans, create more retail / restaurant opportunities at ground floor level and refurbish the last remaining Victorian warehouses on Albert Embankment to provide high-quality office space’.
Make has been approached for comment.
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