Irish developer revives plans for Europe's tallest residential tower

Ryan Corporation plans 75-storey tower that will contain 714 homes

The ‘Gherkin’ and Canary Wharf at sunrise. The 75-storey Hertsmere tower willcontain more than 500,000 square feet of luxury residential space. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The ‘Gherkin’ and Canary Wharf at sunrise. The 75-storey Hertsmere tower willcontain more than 500,000 square feet of luxury residential space. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Fri, Nov 15, 2013, 08:29

An Irish developer is reviving plans to build Europe’s tallest residential tower in London’s Canary Wharf financial district, after it bought the stalled site for £100 million.

The site, which sits on Canary Wharf’s north-west corner, was sold by Commercial Estates Group, which had permission to build a 242 metre tall building containing offices, homes and a hotel called the Columbus Tower. It put the plans under review in 2011 citing the changing economic climate.

Ryan Corporation (UK) Limited said the 75-storey tower would be renamed the Herstmere, and would contain more than 500,000 square feet of luxury residential space or 714 homes.

It expects the site to be worth more than £850 million upon its 2018 completion.

“We’re at a moment in time when residential is something that is very popular in London and we came across a project which we thought was incredibly exciting and in an area where we think has a lot of growth,” Richard Berridge, chief operating officer for Ryan Corporation, told Reuters.

The privately-held, London-based company is headed by Irish property investor Thomas Ryan.

Mr Berridge said the investment was the firm’s first in central London after numerous investments abroad, though he declined to comment on their type or scale.

It will work with the local council to revise the scheme’s current permission to allow the entire tower to be made up of homes, and plans to sell the homes for an average of 1,600 pounds per square foot, he said.

Property companies have launched a slew of luxury residential scheme across London in a bid to cash in on rising house prices and demand from foreign investors looking to park their money in the capital’s property amid concerns that the market is getting overheated.

The plans also come as the estate’s owners, the Canary Wharf Group which is majority owned by Songbird Estates, look to increase the amount of housing on the estate which has so far been dominated by skyscrapers occupied by banks such as Morgan Stanley and Barclays.

The Herstmere will tower over the Canary Wharf estate by seven metres when it is completed but will still be overshadowed by the Qatari-funded Shard skyscraper on the banks of the River Thames, which is western Europe’s tallest skyscraper at 310 metres high. (Reuters)

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