22 Bishopgate Back on Track

property investment

Development on the City of London’s tallest skyscraper came to a halt in June 2023 amidst Brexit uncertainty. However, after several months of careful deliberation, AXA Investment Managers Real Assets, the property sector of the French insurance group, have signalled the green light. The firm declared that it will “continue building the new tower at 22 Bishopgate, in a show of support for a patch of London that has spent a decade as a construction site.” (1) The firm announced its confidence in the project in describing how appealing the “highly progressive development will be to all types of international and domestic occupiers.” (1)

Prior to the EU referendum, Pierre Vaquier, Chief Executive of the firm, told Bloomberg, “We have not launched the project because we want to see the results of the Brexit vote.” He continued in saying that the firm may “revisit the options” should the UK vote to leave. (2) Upon deliberating the result in the aftermath of Brexit, the development will continue.

However, Brexit uncertainty wasn’t the only setback the building has faced. Various delays towered over the previous owners for almost a decade. Prior to AXA taking over last year, it was previously owned by Arab Investments, who intended the development to be called Pinnacle Tower, however, according to the Telegraph, left a “dormant concrete stump seven storeys tall.” (2) However, “Axa’s new design is 10 metres smaller than the planned Pinnacle, and omits the original tower’s twisting design, but will eventually soar 278m into the City skyline.” (2)

In addition, other setbacks the building has suffered were the various threats and disputes by the owners of surrounding sites. Indeed, dozens of surrounding owners who contested the 22 Bishopgate development had “refused to agree compensation deals over loss of light and could have brought legal challenges against its construction.” (3) These so-called “right to light” (3) disputes quite literally refer to buildings being in the gloomy shadows of other buildings, and interestingly, property experts believe they are to become more common. This is because “developers seek consent for more tall buildings to accommodate the need for more home and offices.” (3) We’ve written about London’s future skyline, and it certainly does seem that London’s property is set to reach the sky – both in architecture and price.

Thus, 22 Bishopgate is now raring to go. Set to complete in 2019 and boasting “1.275 million sq. ft. of offices, a diverse community of 12,000 occupiers and 100,000 sq. ft. of amenity space,” (AT22) the development is incredibly exciting. The project is in collaboration with AXA IM, Lipton Rogers Developments and PLP Architecture, and is an innovative opportunity to “deliver a new standard of workplace.” (4)

Written by , Lead Copywriter at Heritage Explorer

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  1. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/10/26/axa-to-press-ahead-with-citys-tallest-tower/
  2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/06/21/developer-of-citys-tallest-tower-hesitates-ahead-of-brexit-vote/
  3. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/22-bishopsgate-1bn-tower-that-will-be-tallest-in-the-city-is-given-go-ahead-a3219806.html
  4. http://at22.co.uk/