Wates plans to build new City skyscraper

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The Independent Online
Plans to build a second tall tower in the City of London have been submitted by Wates City, the quoted property group, writes Patrick Tooher.

The scheme involves redeveloping the Britannic Tower in Moorgate, bought earlier this year for pounds 30m from British Petroleum, to create a new glass and steel building 666 feet high - slightly smaller than the Canary Wharf tower in London's Docklands.

It would contain 37 floors of office space, street-level shops and would be topped off with what would be London's highest restaurant.

Designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the tower, called City Point, would be smaller than the controversial pounds 400m Millennium project designed by Sir Norman Foster which has yet to win local planning approval.

Construction costs for Wates's 636,000 sq ft scheme are estimated to be pounds 100m and joint managing director Rodney Coulton admits funding is still at an early stage.

"Obviously the scheme will not be pursued until we have satisfactory pre-letting and financing arrangements in place," he said.

"Clearly we will always have the option to redevelop on the rather conservative set of assumptions upon which we acquired the site, which would create less space in a good building but at a lower cost."