The Canary Wharf Group plc (CWG) is expected to form a joint venture with Land Securities to aid with the development of the Walkie Talkie tower on 20 Fenchurch Street, EC3M.
Joint ventures are an increasingly vital part of new developments, particularly in regards to securing effective funding and maintaining security in the event that a company should be terminated.
The China Investment Corporation (CIC), China’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, is also reported to have approached Land Securities about taking a 25% equity stake in the tower. The fund already has links to the property, holding 19% shares in Songbird Estates plc, whom own 60% of CWG.
This investment stake would also give further security to the development of the tower, particularly as CIC have secure stakes in Visa, Apple and Coca-Cola.
The construction of the £200m Walkie Talkie tower, standing tall at 525 ft, is expected to be completed in 2014 and will offer approximately 660,000 sq ft of office space. It had initially been reported by Land Securities to be completed by 2011; however plans were put on hold in 2008 and the final date was pushed back to the financial downturn.
The tower could be a potential location for fund managers Schroders who are looking to lease 250,000 sq ft of office space just a year after the tower is completed.