Goldman’s 840,000 sq ft London campus plans unveiled

By James Buckley - Friday, January 04, 2013 14:30

Goldman Sachs has submitted a planning application to the City Corporation for an 843,922 sq ft campus to replace the Fleet Building and Plumtree Court. CoStar News takes a look at the full plans and first images.

The US investment bank wants to demolish the existing 13-storey Fleet Building at 40 Shoe Lane and Plumtree Court, EC4 - two unoccupied properties which have a combined area of 304,703 sq ft - and build a nine-storey office building with a net area of 843,922 sq ft – an uplift of 539,219 sq ft. The proposed scheme will have a gross internal area of 1.2m sq ft.

The application comes after CoStar News revealed in October that Goldman Sachs had lodged a scoping report to the City of London Corporation detailing outline proposals for the site.

The application says the proposed Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates-designed scheme, which sits on a 4.2-acre City site and is targeting a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating, will provide office space suitable for occupation by financial, legal, accountancy, or other professional tenants, including “flexible densities across all floors to create high quality, flexible office space suitable for a single tenant or multiple tenancies”.

Goldman anticipates the scheme to take four years and three months to construct, including demolition of the existing buildings, and said in the application that it had not considered alternative sites for the development because of a lack of areas in London that can accommodate more than 1m sq ft of office space suitable for financial and legal occupiers, and which offer excellent transport links.

The height of the development varies across the site, with the majority of the roof being 176ft, except for the south west corner which rises to 216ft in a curved design which starts as a base course at Shoe Lane and rises to the height of a full floor as the site slopes down, east to Farringdon Street.

Neighbouring residents have until 24 January to voice any opposition to the plans, which are due to go before the City Corporation’s Planning & Transportation Committee by 15 April. The scheme is expected to create 488 construction worker jobs on site per year.

A note in the planning application said: “The design of the proposed development has been undertaken in close collaboration with the City of London Corporation. The goal has been to design a building that will be responsive to its urban context, a respectful neighbour to nearby heritage assets and characterised by excellence in sustainable design.

“The resulting development will be a distinguished new presence in the City of London, one that will meet with equal success the needs of a single large scale financial tenant or multiple tenancies. The massing and detail of the design take careful account of the changing townscape to the west and east of its site, the historic enclaves and listed buildings to the north, and the specific circumstances of the public realm on each of its edges.”

The new plans will allow Goldman Sachs to add value to the site and place it in a strong position should it decide to sell it in the future, lease it to other occupiers, or press ahead with the development for its own occupation.

Richard Coleman City Designer and Miller Hare were brought on last year to provide an assessment of the impact of the new development on nearby listed buildings, which include The Daily Express Building at 120-129 Fleet Street, 26 Farringdon Street, the Hoop & Grapes pub at 80 Farringdon Street, among others.

Last September, the City Corporation gave Goldman Sachs planning consent to remove murals attached to the Fleet Building at 40 Shoe Lane and 70 Farringdon Street, which has consent for a 488,000 sq ft office redevelopment.

In 2011, Goldman bought Plumtree Court in a move which gave the investment bank the opportunity to create a mega campus given the proximity of the property to Goldman's Fleet Building.

Goldman's plans previously suffered a setback when the government gave Grade II listed status to 1960s murals on the front of Fleet Building, which used to be London's largest telephone exchange.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport followed advice from English Heritage that the nine ceramic tile murals by Dorothy Annan, which depict pylons, cables, telegraph poles and generators, were of “historic interest” to the telecoms industry and had “relative rarity as surviving works of 1960s mural art”.

Goldman had opposed the listing of the murals and relocating them could be costly and time-consuming. However, as part of the conditions of the planning consent, Goldman must meet all “reasonable costs” incurred with their removal.

Goldman Sachs’ two main offices are in Fleet Street, while the firm’s asset management division is based near the London Stock Exchange in Paternoster Square, next to St Paul's cathedral.








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