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O'Rourke wins Welsh high-rise


LAING O'Rourke has triumphed in another two-horse contracts race, nabbing a £35 million deal to build the tallest residential building in Wales.

The firm has rarely lost a straight shootout in a head-to-head scrap.Carillion is the latest rival to be beaten.

The overall development value of the Ferrara Quay scheme in the marina area of Swansea is £56 million.The centrepiece is a 29-storey tower.

The 92 m-high building, which was designed by London-based Latitude Architects, comprises a rooftop restaurant, several two-storey penthouses and 291 apartments overlooking the marina and surrounding coastline.

A Carillion source said: 'It is possible to beat Laing O'Rourke despite their aggressive pricing, but you have to play their game and I don't know whether it is worth doing it for some jobs.

'If you are sacrificing your profit for work there has to be something in it for you in the long run.'

Carillion had been left to fight it out after rival shortlisted firms Alfred McAlpine and Taylor Woodrow withdrew from the contest, having decided that pressure of workload meant they were too busy to work up bids.

Ferrara Quay will also include 6,000 sq m of office space, shops, cafes, bars and restaurants.There will also be 300 underground and covered parking spaces.

Sutton Coldfield-based developer Earthquake was granted planning permission to build the project by the city council at the beginning of the year.

The Swansea Civic Society and local MP Alan Williams had raised concerns that the tower would have a negative impact on the city's skyline.

The scheme is one of the last to be built under a larger £200 million development to revamp the former Prince of Wales docks site.