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Transport for London’s art deco building above St James Park underground station is, it seems, to be converted into luxury apartments.
While internal recommendations were that the building should be retained as offices as well as made more accessible to the general public, Transport for London has designated the Grade-I listed site as not ‘fit for purpose’. Calls to turn the building into a hotel have also been declined.
It would seem that the residential option will be the most lucrative for TfL, with architects TateHindle having been appointed to design a residential scheme following a competitive tender last summer. While groups and conservation lobbyists are asking for further consideration to be given to retaining London’s ‘first skyscraper’ as offices from a heritage point of view, commercial viability forms the basis of the response from TfL.
The construction of the building was finished in 1929, being the design of architect Charles Holden, and it is currently the headquarters of TfL – and has been for over 80 years. The building was Grade-II listed until 2011 when English Heritage upgraded it to Grade I due to its national historic and architectural interest. It is expected that planning permission will be ready to submit this autumn, with the TfL staff moving out to a Canary Wharf building in 2015.
The building has in the past been open during the September Open House weekend, and if it opens its doors this year, it may be the last chance for the general public to see inside the imposing building before it is converted into private accommodation.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.