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Sat 15 Dec 2012 09:47 AM

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Qatar, UK firms unveil $1bn London plans

London’s South Bank to be transformed by Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group

Qatar, UK firms unveil $1bn London plans
An artists impression of the Shell Centre development.

London’s South Bank is set to be transformed by a £1bn ($1.6bn) mixed-use development by Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group.

With the famous Shell Centre Tower at its heart, the joint venture developers have unveiled their proposed plans, which will revitalise the area with high quality architecture and much improved public spaces.

A mix of offices, homes and retail space will integrate with open and attractive public areas, while new pedestrian routes will connect nearby Waterloo Station with the South Bank of the River Thames.

A ‘city square’ at the heart of the scheme will provide open space and help people move around the area, the companies said in a statement.

The well-known Shell Centre Tower will remain the centrepiece of the new site, occupied by Shell which is taking a further 245,000 sq ft of space.

The Tower will be complemented by eight new buildings, one of which will incorporate new offices and trading floors for Shell.

Approximately 800,000 sq ft of office space along with around 80,000 sq ft of new retail units, restaurants and cafes, will be accompanied by up to 790 new homes, including affordable housing.

The development is planned for completion in 2019.

Qatari Diar Group CEO Mohammed bin Ali Al Hedfa, said: “Our aim is to enhance an area in need of a renaissance, with a new mixed use development of which London can be truly proud. 

"We are confident that our proposed development will put a reinvigorated South Bank at its rightful place, at the Capital’s heart.”

Sir George Iacobescu, chairman and chief executive, Canary Wharf Group, added: “It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work on such a historically interesting and important site as the Shell Centre. Our vision is of a beautiful place to live and work in the cultural heart of the most exciting city in the world.”

More than 1,000 local people, businesses and visitors have shared their views on the future development, through an extensive, year-long community consultation, which has helped to shape the scheme masterplan by architects Squire and Partners.

In July 2011, developers Qatari Diar and Canary Wharf Group signed an agreement with Royal Dutch Shell to redevelop the Shell Centre site.

The developers spent £150m each to take the 5.25 acre site on a 999-year lease, with Shell remaining the freeholder.

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