Developers say the “complementary extension” will drive footfall to historic market

An application has been submitted to the City of London outlining plans to build a mixed-use office tower and rejuvenate the iconic covered market which will lie in its shadow. 

Proposals for 85 Gracechurch Street, drawn up by Woods Bagot, will see 35,000sqm of grade A office space brought to market, as well as a large civic public hall at ground level. 

The new hall will recreate a historic pedestrian route between Gracechurch Street and Lime Street Passage and is designed to accommodate events to support the rejuvenation of Leadenhall Market, which dates back to the 14th century. 

Developer Hertshten Properties claims the “complementary extension” of the market and proposed cultural offer will help drive footfall at the market, which it claims has declined post-pandemic. 

The proposals also include a publicly accessible heritage garden with planted areas enclosing a multi-purpose cultural space focused on the history of the City of London, from the Roman era to the present. 

The cultural and exhibition space – which the developer said presented opportunities for archaeological display, VR exhibits and a café – is being brought forward in partnership with the Museum of London. 

The garden would lead visitors to an external elevated walkway around the site’s perimeter, offering views over the roofs of Leadenhall Market.   

Ron Hertshten, director of Hertshten Group, said he envisioned 85 Gracechurch to “serve the wider community whilst leading the charge in developing real estate in an environmentally friendly manner”. 

Andrew Reynolds, chair of the Eastern City Business Improvement District said Leadenhall Market was an “incredibly valuable asset” to the area, but “currently it punches well below its weight”.  

He added: “This proposed new development, which would have direct interface with the market, with its ambitious ground floor uses and heritage garden, is exactly what the City needs.  

Crucially, it could provide the impetus for the holistic revival of the historic market, which would be a significant boost for this area and the wider City.”  

The project team include surveyor Shaw Corporation, QS Alinea, multi-disciplinary firm Arup, M&E consultant Sweco, planning specialist DP9 and structural steel firm Robert Bird.