Mace’s £425 million deal to build the Shard has been delayed further after the Middle Eastern financial backers brought in Sir Robert McAlpine to check costs.
Qatari Diar, the Middle Eastern real estate company that stumped up an undisclosed amount of money last year to keep the project on track, has called in McAlpine and consultant EC Harris for a second opinion on Mace’s bid.
The £425 million bid from Mace is a saving of about £10 million on the fixed-price bid submitted two months ago, but is still about £75 million above the original estimate of £350 million.
A spokesperson for the financier said: “Independent consultants were appointed.
“This is standard pre-contract due diligence which is undertaken when making a substantial investment in a major project.”
Construction of the Shard was due to begin in March with demolition of the old Southwark towers now virtually complete and piling work underway.
The 310 metre high building - roughly the same height as New York’s Chrysler Building – will become the tallest in Europe.
There is growing speculation that McAlpine will be the team to beat for the contract to build the other block in the development, a 55,000 sq m building nicknamed the Baby Shard.