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McAlpine catches spy HQ

SIR Robert McAlpine has taken a 35 million contract to redevelop the former headquarters of MI5 in central London.

Balfour Beatty, Kyle Stewart and Mowlem also submitted bids but McAlpine has clinched the deal.

Hunt started on the 27,200 sq m of demolition work at the end of last year; Cementation has also been lined up for the piling.

The project, which is expected to be complete by March 1998, is promoted by Development Securities but it is understood to be funded with German cash.

The second stage of the bidding process will involve McAlpine finalising an exact budget with the schemes quantity surveyor Gardiner & Theobald.

The project will provide an eight-storey speculative office building at the site in Curzon Street, Mayfair, with a wine bar, shop and three mews houses to the rear. Planning permission has already been secured by the joint architects, T P Bennett and Gensler Associates.