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Old Posted Apr 10, 2006, 8:12 PM
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http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=580

Hammerson Plan London Fringe Skyscraper

Plans by prominent developer Hammerson for a huge development on the edge of the City of London are due to be filed in the next few months for a site that unites both Northgate and Norton Folgate.

Situated next door to the under construction Broadgate Tower and the Broadgate Centre, the site occupies a strategic point that links the City to the undeveloped Bishopsgate Goodsyard to its immediate north in Hackney.

Similar in make-up to the terminated Grand Union Building at Paddington, Hammerson plan a mixed development of a hotel, retail outlets, offices and unusually for this area, apartments on the top floors in a scheme that will total 90,000 square metres, that's almost 1 million square feet if you don't speak metric. The architect is reported to be Foster and Partners.

They recently paid Hackney Council £4.1 million to acquire the lease for the Northgate site and unite it with their Norton Folgate plot that they have already secured planning permission for a 108 metre tall tower on.

Plans, although rough, show a stepped skyscraper reaching maximum height on the Bishopsgate side of the area that should reach between 150 and 200 metres creating a pretty tight relationship with its equally tall neighbour next door. Lower rise parts of the project are shown as fitting in with their existing Broadgate neighbours in both bulk and height.

There has been much talk for years about development on the City fringe around Hackney but this is the first major project to actually be proposed outside the borders City of London, stepping up in size markedly from schemes by other developers showing that the eastern fringe ideas may actually become a reality as well, the largest previous scheme was Crown Plaza.

This also goes some way to creating a series of mini clusters around the central core - there is already one along London Wall / Moorgate that stretches into Midtown.

Hammerson say that they will be making a more detailed application for this scheme in the summer. Given the mixed use nature of the scheme and the fact that high-rise top spec apartments in this location within walking distance of the centre of the City would be highly desirable reduces hugely the need for a pre-let on the project and could allow it to kick off as quickly as the Beethams are able to realise similar mixed-use schemes elsewhere in the U.K.
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