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British Lands Map Out Cheesegrater Future

With the unveiling of their results, British Land has also revealed where they plan to take their flagship development in the City of London, the Leadenhall Building.

Following the unusual bottom-up demolition of the previous occupant of the site, 122 Leadenhall, they are now carrying out basement and preparatory works as the final part of their 30 million programme to get the site to the point they can rapidly begin construction when demand permits.

The construction programme is due to be put on hold after this whilst the developer and architect, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, go over the building and value engineer it with an attempt to reduce construction costs.

With commodity prices having plummeted, even if the building were now built to the original specifications, it would cost many millions less than had British Land signed their contracts earlier in 2008 and aimed for a 2010 finish thus paradoxically, although the global slowdown is having an effect on occupancies it is also making skyscrapers cheaper to build.

By delaying the construction of the Leadenhall Building, British Land has also managed to reduce the potential pipeline of developments that would come through with committed schemes falling from 260,000 square metres of space to 102,000 square metres reducing their risk of oversupplying a saturated market.

Proving the importance of a good location, is the residential One Osnaburgh Street near Euston Square in London that has seen 83% of the units already sold with demand being such that three quarters have gone for prices above what they were valued for in March 2008. They also have Regent's Place One and Two under construction nearby, a couple of office buildings that are part of the same development.

The blip in their good news is Ropemaker Place, a major development opposite City Point on London Wall. Although British Land recently secured the Bank of Tokio as their first tenant in the building, this still leaves the majority of it un-let and the space is coming onto the market at a difficult time.

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