Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar Get Nod for London’s Shell Centre Revamp

on May 22, 2013
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Canary Wharf Group Plc and Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co have won planning permission for the redevelopment of the iconic Shell Centre on the Thames waterfront by Waterloo Bridge, next to the

London Eye Ferris wheel.
The property investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund and the controller of the Canary Wharf financial district received the approval on Tuesday, May 21, a filing on the Lambeth Borough Council’s website has shown. Under the plan by Braeburn Estates, the joint venture of Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar, the revamp project will include more than 1.2 million square feet of residential and commercial real estate.

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The iconic 27-storey office tower, which has been occupied by Royal Dutch Shell Plc (LON:RDSA) since the 1960s, will be complemented by eight new buildings, ranging from five to 37 storeys and accommodating 877 new homes including low-cost affordable housing, an open public square and 80,000 square feet of commercial space. One of the towers will incorporate a further 245,000 square feet of new offices and trading floors for the oil company.

**“A Unique Place to Live And Work in the Centre of London”**
The Shell Centre overhaul is scheduled for completion in 2019. Canary Wharf Group and Qatari Diar will start with onsite work at the end of this year, employing up to 1,600 people at the peak of construction. Once construction is finished, the redevelopment will increase the number of jobs on site with more than 6,000 people expected to be employed between the two new commercial buildings and the Shell Centre tower.

“The development would give rise to not only additional jobs in the borough, but would also contribute towards strategic objectives for London in its promotion as a world city,” read the council’s document recommending planning permission for the project.
!m[Redevelopment Project to Include Residential and Commercial Units Across Eight Towers](/uploads/story/2452/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)

The *Irish Examiner* quoted Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canary Wharf Group, as saying on Wednesday: “We are delighted that Lambeth Council has approved these plans for us to work on such an important and historical site.” Qatari Diar’s Chief Executive Officer Khaled Al Sayyed also commented on the development, saying that the revamped Shell Centre site would be a “unique place to live and work in the centre of London”.
**Shares in Canary Wharf Group’s Holding Company Rise**
Songbird Estates Plc (LON:SBD) owns 69 percent of Canary Wharf Group as well as the city’s largest development pipeline. The real estate investment company’s share price climbed after media publications revealed that Lambeth Borough Council had approved Braeburn Estates’ plans for revamp of the Shell Centre tower. As of 13:27 GMT on May 22, the Songbird share price in London was 143p, up 1.52 percent on its previous day’s closing level.

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