Axa Investment Managers has confirmed it will proceed with construction of 22 Bishopsgate and is expected to confirm Multiplex as contractor within weeks.
Construction News reported last week that Severfield had replaced William Hare as steelwork contractor on the scheme, where Careys is currently building the concrete core.
Axa said the commitment to the project demonstrated the consortium of international investors’ confidence in “how appealing this highly progressive development will be to all types of international and domestic occupiers”.
The other investors backing the scheme include Singaporean Temasek Holdings Pte, Canada-based Public Sector Pension Investment Board, and British Columbia Investment Management Corp.
Axa and its development partner Lipton Rogers will finalise the appointment of its contractor for the main build “within the next few weeks”. Multiplex has been working on site under a PCSA.
The foundations and groundworks are largely complete, and Axa said this would allow for an ”accelerated construction timetable” as it targets a completion date of 2019.
AXA IM - Real Assets chief executive Pierre Vaquier said: “Our ongoing commitment to 22 Bishopsgate reflects our firm belief, and that of our clients and partners, in this development project, aligned to the fact we are taking a long-term view of this investment.
“The decision to proceed underscores our confidence in the progressive and attractive development that we will deliver at 22, coupled with the anticipated breadth of demand from local and global occupiers for easily accessible space in a prime location in the City of London, as one of the leading global centres for international business, that will respond to their future business needs.”
Mr Vacquier had said before the EU referendum that he would await the outcome of the vote before deciding on whether to proceed with the tower.
The 22 Bishopsgate design replaced the previous Pinnacle scheme, for which construction began in 2008 before being suspended in 2012 due to the economic downturn.
The new designs include a 278 m-tall tower – 10 m lower than the previously approved scheme – with 130,000 sq m of office space. The high-rise office will also feature a restaurant and bar, retail space and a public viewing gallery.
Chris Hayward, chairman of planning and transportation at the City of London Corporation said: “I’m pleased that 22 Bishopsgate is moving forward. This decision to continue with what is a key development in the City of London’s Eastern Cluster demonstrates the high level of investor confidence in London’s future growth.”