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On the 1st February London’s Mayor Boris Johnson cut the ribbon to welcome the first public visitors onto the threshold of the Shard. The building’s 310-metre futuristic tower rises over London Bridge, with a viewing platform on the 72nd floor.
For one lucky visitor it was a day to remember as her fiancé popped the question while high above the capital. James Episcopou, 22, told reporters, “It sounds corny but she makes me feel like I’m on top of the world so I thought the highest place in London has got to be the best place to do it.”
The Shard was 13 years in the planning, and after the 2008 credit crunch it struggled for financing. Had the Qataris not rescued the project, it could have seen a stop put to further development, as has happened to other once-feted London building projects. While early-bird bird’s-eye viewing platform tickets have long been sold out, it was a different story for the rental side of business. The developers have been criticised for not being able to rent out the space, although Irvine Sellar, the Shard’s developer, has stated that 30% of the tower had already been let and he reported to Reuters that he remained confident and optimistic.
The Shard forms one aspect of a £2 bn redevelopment of the London Bridge area, on the South Bank. Its majority owner is the state of Qatar, in all likelihood a force to be taken seriously in the current and future property market. Inside the building is to be found a luxury hotel, various restaurants, 12 floors of residential apartments, and 600,000 square feet of office space – plus the all-important viewing deck.
Morgan Pryce is 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.