Axa to press ahead with City's tallest tower
27th October 2016
Developers are pressing ahead with plans to build the City of London’s tallest tower, after several months of deliberating in the wake of the EU referendum.
Axa Investment Managers Real Assets, the property arm of the French insurance group, announced that it will continue building the new tower at 22 Bishopsgate, in a show of support for a patch of London that has spent a decade as a construction site.
The firm said it was confident “in how appealing this highly progressive development will be to all types of international and domestic occupiers”.
Chief executive Pierre Vaquier said before the EU referendum in June that the firm might “revisit the options” in the event of a vote for Brexit, and the company reportedly spoke to its partners in August about delaying the next phase of construction or selling the project.
“Our ongoing commitment to 22 Bishopsgate reflects our firm belief, and that of our clients and partners, in this development project, aligned to the fact we are taking a long term view of this investment,” Mr Vaquier said.
The decision could mark a turning point for a project that has suffered delays under its current and previous owners.
A helter-skelter shaped tower named the Pinnacle was given planning permission in 2006, but the tower was just seven storeys tall in 2012 when Arab Investments suspended construction.
The concrete foundations, which earned the nickname The Stump, were taken over by Axa and a consortium of other investors shortly afterwards.
They submitted more modest proposal for the skyscraper, which is now due to complete in 2019. The tower at 22 Bishopsgate will be 278m tall, surpassing the nearby Cheesegrater and Heron towers, with enough space for 12,000 people working over 67 floors.
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