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Three eye off ice job opportunity


THREE rivals are circling a £50 million office scheme in central London.

Skanska, Sir Robert McAlpine and Laing O'Rourke are in the running for the scheme from client Great Portland Estates in Tooley Street, close to London Bridge railway station. The three are in interviews with the developer this week. A decision on the winner of the design and build project is due within a month.

Earlier this year both McAlpine and Laing O'Rourke were beaten to a West End office refurbishment from the same client by Interior Exterior. Great Portland Estates has spent more than £20 million on sites around Tooley Street over the past year in a bid to capitalise on the regeneration of the area. Its acquisitions include two investment properties, two empty office buildings and a 0.5 ha plot to the rear forming a 'development island' next to the More London site, which is currently a hive of const ruct ion activity.

The contractors are vying to build the project on the plot to the rear. Proposals are for around 160,000 sq ft of office space. Plans submitted to Southwark Borough Council in March include a 12-storey tower at the back of the site and a second office block behind the existing building.

Construction work on the two-year scheme is due to begin in early 2006.

Laing O'Rourke is one of four firms chasing a £25 million mixed-use scheme in Hertfordshire.

The firm has been joined by Mowlem, Sisk and Morrison for the project in St Albans, known as The Place, for developer Henry Davidson.

Plans for the scheme, which is due to start on site next year, include a five-screen cinema, restaurants and 168 f lats.

Construction work is expected to last two years.