Property company Songbird are considering selling 50 percent of their shares in the ‘Walkie Talkie’ development.
The ‘Walkie Talkie’ office development has been plagued by problems since it was approved in 2006.
Initially it had to be reduced in height due to heavy criticism about the impact on the skyline, in particular St Paul’s Cathedral. The design was reduced from 45 floors to 36.
The project was then shelved in 2008 due to the recession. However, a lack of available office space in London and high demand from companies set the project in motion again.
The property company that controls nearly 70 percent of the Canary Wharf business estate, Songbird Estates PLC, is in talks with Land Securities Group to form a joint venture to build the London office tower. Canary Wharf are then expected to sell 35 percent of their shares, retaining a 15 percent holding in the development.
The shares are thought to be offered to the company’s biggest investors. China Investment Corp, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds, Qatar Holding LLC and New York investor Simon Glick are the company’s four major shareholders.
“We have been in active discussions and hoped to have a deal done over the summer. We have never denied that Canary Wharf were one of those we were talking to”, commented a Land Securities spokesman.
The development is set to cost around £350 million and should reach completion by 2014.