Developer Stanhope to focus on re-using existing building at 60 Gracechurch Street two years after buying site from Hong Kong firm

70GStreet.Proposed Building in Context.April2024

Stanhope’s new proposal for 60 Gracechurch

KPF has unveiled plans to revise an approved office tower in the City of London two years after the scheme’s developer Stanhope bought the site from Hong Kong firm Tenacity.

The developer has sent KPF back to the drawing board to give a sustainability boost to the 70 Gracechurch scheme, a 33-storey tower given the go ahead by Square Mile councillors in 2021.

An image of the new proposals appears to show changes to the facade of the consented scheme, including the removal of two vertical lines of planted terraces under plans due to be submitted later this year.

Stanhope senior development director Nick Jarman said the tower had been reimagined with a focus on re-using part of the site’s existing 10-storey building.

“Our development team have reimagined the plans for this prominent and brilliantly located site within the City of London, with a focus on sustainability and the reuse and retention of substantial elements of the existing building,” Jarman said.

“This will minimise the carbon impact of redevelopment, alongside creating new cultural spaces and routes for wider public benefit. We look forward to showing these emerging plans at the public exhibition and encourage people to come along and have their say.”

The previous plans would have seen the existing building, currently leased by Marks & Spencer and AXA-owned insurer XL Catlin, demolished.

The revised plans, due to be given a public airing at a consultation in the City tomorrow, comes a month after the Square Mile formally approved plans to prioritise retrofit projects in planning decisions.

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KPF’s consented designs for the site

The City 2040 plan will require developers to take a ‘retrofit first’ approach and assign significant importance to the refurbishment of existing buildings over new build schemes.

The plan also intends to transform the borough into a ‘destination city’ with more cultural and leisure offerings, a vision which Stanhope said the new plans for 70 Gracechurch are aiming to align with.

Historic England criticised the design quality of KPF’s approved plans for the site prior to the plans being approved and warned that the scheme would harm views of St Paul’s Cathedral and reduce daylight at the nearby Leadenhall Market.

Stanhope purchased the site in April 2022 in partnership with Cadillac Fairview, the real estate arm of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

The move came two weeks after the pair announced a deal with Thomas White Oxford on the £700m Oxford North development in Oxford.

The 70 Gracechurch project is one of a group of proposed towers on the south-western edge of the main City cluster including neighbouring sites 85 Gracechurch Street, designed by Woods Bagot, and the 3XN-designed 60 Gracechurch which was unveiled by Sellar last week.