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Skanska tipped for £500m Scalpel tower

Exclusive: Skanska is being tipped to win the main contract to build the £500m Scalpel tower.

Skanska had gone head to head with Mace to build the tower, as Construction News revealed in April.

The contract award had been expected several weeks ago but no formal announcement had been made. Construction News understands no contract has been signed yet but several sources said that Skanska was leading the race for the deal.

Lend Lease and Sir Robert McAlpine were knocked out of the race for the huge commercial job, leaving the contractors behind the Shard and the Heron Tower as the only two bidders still in the running to build the new tower, which is widely touted as the last major skyscraper planned in the city for a generation.

Insurance firm W R Berkley Corporation submitted planning for the building at 52-54 Lime Street in September 2012, with the City of London approving the scheme in January this year.

The 190 m-tall tower was designed by Bill Pedersen at Kohn Pedersen Fox – the firm that also designed the Heron tower.

The 35 floors of offices will sit above ground and mezzanine levels and two basement levels. Entrances via a new public square will be on Leadenhall Street.

The scheme will feature a new public square of about 11,000 sq ft next to the existing precinct around the Willis Building, comprising public seating, planting and space for public art and tables linked to a coffee shop on the ground floor.

Skanska, contractor on the landmark Gherkin project, was also confirmed last year as the winner of the £115m 6 Bevis Marks office development in the City of London.

Construction News revealed Mace as the main contractor on the £100m 30-storey King’s Reach development on London’s South Bank last year. The firm has also had recent wins in Merchant Square, Paddington, Regent Street and 5 Broadgate in the City.

Work is expected to start on the Scalpel in Q3/Q4 of this year and will be completed by 2017.

A Skanska spokeswoman declined to comment. Mace has been contacted for comment.

A W R Berkley spokeswoman declined to comment.

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