Goldman Sachs’ Wins Approval for London ’Banking Factory’

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. won approval from the City of London borough council for a plan to develop an office building that may become its new European headquarters.

Goldman Sachs’ affiliates Farringdon Street Partners Ltd. and Farringdon Street (Nominee) Ltd. plan to demolish the existing properties and develop a new Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed glass-fronted and curved building on the site. Goldman didn’t immediately return phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment.

The building at 70 Farringdon Street and Shoe Lane will have about 111,300 square meters (1.2 million square feet) of internal office space, according to the application letter. It’s about a minute’s walk from Goldman’s current headquarters buildings on Fleet Street and construction work is set to begin “almost immediately,” City of London planning officer Peter Rees said at today’s meeting.

“It’s a banking factory. Let’s make no bones about it,” Rees told the borough’s members. “If there’s an area where we’re going to accommodate groundscrapers this is probably the best” place, he said.

Goldman Sachs, the fifth-biggest U.S. bank by assets, was given permission in September to move a set of protected murals from the building, helping to clear the way for the redevelopment.

The New York-based investment bank’s London Property unit had assets of 73.7 million pounds ($112 million) through December 2011 and paid 103.4 million pounds for a development site last year, according to a filing with Companies House in August.

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