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The fallen property tycoon Simon Halabi, whose worth was estimated to be £3 billion in 2007, was declared bankrupt in 2010. Before declaring bankruptcy, Mr Habibi tried to improve his financial situation and raise capital by selling his property portfolio (worth approximately £1bn). Part of the sales included the Aviva Tower, later renamed 1 Undershaft, which was sold to Aroland Holdings for circa £200 million. The building is the newest skyscraper hoping to grace London’s skyline.
The crown for the tallest building in London is predicted be shared between 1 Undershaft and The Shard in the future – both of which will be 309.6 metres tall. 1 Undershaft will have 73 floors with a square footprint, a free viewing gallery for the public at the top and a 150 x 10 metre public space below its tower. The core of the tower is facing to the west in an attempt to improve the public’s experience on the ground, and to create an impressive, red-cross gartered, slender tower.
Eugene O’Sullivan, Managing Director at Morgan Pryce, said: “The initial Undershaft plans included a small pyramid on top of the structure modelled on ‘Cleopatra’s Needle’, however the development was rejected due to opposition from the CAA with the proximity of the tower to City Airport. Additionally, the City Planners showed concern as they didn’t want another overt shape in the London skyline.”
The total square footage of office space is yet to be released, but the 73 floors of B1 use space are expected to go a long way to relieve London’s undersupplied office market. A neighboring building, 22 Bishopsgate, is also under construction; the space will be twice as wide and almost as tall as Undershaft, and will surely help further reduce the pressure on the market.
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.