MOWLEM has won the latest deal to be let in the upturn in the London office market.
The news is a welcome boost for the firm ahead of its interim results, due out later this month. These are expected to show profits below £10 million. The firm warned in July it would make £20 million less than was first thought.
Mowlem beat Balfour Beatty to the latest deal in the City, redressing the balance after it lost to the same firm in the race to land a £100 million office scheme at Holborn Viaduct last month.
A Balfour Beatty source said: 'It is disappointing but you just have to move on to the next job. At least we beat them to the bigger job at Holborn Viaduct.' The two contractors were the only ones shortlisted for the Holborn scheme by developer Castlemore, but they were joined by three others in the latest deal at 150 Cheapside.
Mowlem will build the £50 million scheme next to St Paul's tube station, opposite the cathedral.
As well as Mowlem and Balfour Beatty, London developer St Martins Property Group short-listed Carillion, Skanska and Sir Robert McAlpine to work up bids. But both Carillion and Sir Robert McAlpine pulled out, citing workload reasons. Skanska was dropped earlier this summer.
Demolition of the existing building, currently home to the Kuwait Investment Office, is slated to be carried out this month. Work on the new building will start in October in time for a completion in early 2008.
St Martins is marketing the fully glazed eight-storey building as a new headquarters for a financial company.
Although it has been in the pipeline for a while, planners at the Corporation of London only gave it the thumbs-up in February this year.
Designed by Aukett, the only Stock Exchange-listed architect, the building will run to nearly 19,200 sq m and includes half a dozen retail units. These will front onto St Martin's le Grand and Foster Lane.