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Pinnacle build 'won't restart before Christmas'

Work on the Pinnacle skyscraper will not start up again before the end of the year, meaning the £800 million City tower will have sat empty for almost 12 months, CN has learned.

CN revealed in January that Brookfield Multiplex told workers to down tools at the Bishopsgate Tower following orders from partners Arab Investments and concerns over finances and cost.

A spokesperson for contractor Brookfield Multiplex confirmed that they “won’t be restarting before Christmas”, adding that no date has been set for a restart.

Brookfield’s website says that the completion was planned for 2015, rather than the original date of 2014. In January, an Arab Investments spokesman denied suggestions that the site would be shut for up to six months.  

Arab Investments declined to comment this week.

The consortium of Middle Eastern investors, including the Saudi Economic and Development Holding Company, announced a year ago that it had signed a deal to get the project back on track, including a £500m debt facility from a group of lenders led by HSBC.

Brookfield is also waiting for the go-ahead on 100 Bishopsgate, where it is partnered with developer Great Portland Estates.

Enabling works are almost finished, and include flattening the existing site and securing a double-sourced power supply, which is seen as critical in a City environment.

Once this is done, there will be no further work until 30 to 50 per cent of the scheme is pre-let. The project has been tailored for an investment bank tenant, complete with a trading floor.

CN understands that talks have been undertaken with a large number of potential tenants, but that they are reluctant to commit in the current climate.

Meanwhile discussions are ongoing over the sell down of the GPE share in the scheme, which it is hoped will complete before the end of the year.

Brookfield Multiplex is also “mandated to build” Principal Place, after affiliate Brookfield Office Properties acquired it as part of a £518m deal for the Hammerson office portfolio.

Principal Place is a mixed-use development in the City of London with planning consent for a 57,500 sq m office building and a separate 23,000 sq m residential tower.

Skanska and Sir Robert McAlpine had been fighting it out for the scheme before the sale, but the construction of the scheme – along with any others in the portfolio – will now be done by Brookfield Multiplex.

The deal also included 99 Bishopsgate and 125 Old Broad Street, both in the City.

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