Canary Wharf Group has lodged plans for a large new development in the financial district, with up to 2.5 million square feet of offices proposed, despite the popularity of the ‘work from home’ model.
The property firm, owned by Canada’s Brookfield, and Qatar Investment Authority, wants to create a new scheme at North Quay, the largest undeveloped site remaining at Canary Wharf.
The planned project, up to eight buildings potentially and next to the new Crossrail station, would have mostly office space, as well as up to 700 apartments.
However, Canary Wharf Group has applied for a ‘flexible framework’ which would allow it to alter the amount of office, retail and residential space it builds depending on customer demand, or give it the option to include other uses.
Sir George Iacobescu, executive chairman of Canary Wharf Group, said the development would “offer an exceptional environment for a range of occupiers and sectors including health and life sciences, technology, media, financial or business services organisations”.
Iacobescu added:“In a dynamic and unpredictable world, the extensive flexibility in this plan will enable us to respond quickly to market demand within a framework agreed with the local authority.”
The proposals, drawn up by architects Allies and Morrison, have been submitted to Tower Hamlets council. Subject to approval, work on site could start by the end of next year.
Jason Syrett, a partner at Allies and Morrison, said: “This masterplan provides a confident step forward to the next phase of Canary Wharf as a vibrant, mixed-use and truly connected place.”
Confidence to move forward with the scheme comes despite current market uncertainty about occupier demand for HQs. A number of office staff in the capital have embraced working from home during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Previously for the site, Canary Wharf Group had looked at other schemes, including some dependent on large office pre-lets.