Canary Wharf’s East London Skyscraper Receives Approval

Canary Wharf Group Plc won local-government approval to build a London tower as high as 190 meters (620 feet) that it redesigned after the financial crisis to exclude the large trading floors typically used by banks.

Tower Hamlets Borough Council gave the company preliminary permission yesterday for Heron Quays West, a project in London’s Canary Wharf financial district that includes 130,000 square meters (1.4 million square feet) of offices and 785 square meters of retail and leisure space.

Canary Wharf rewrote the plans first approved in 2007 after the financial crisis hit and banks cut jobs. Job vacancies at London’s financial-services companies fell by more than a third last month as firms continued to cut costs and the summer holidays curbed hiring plans, recruitment consultant Morgan McKinley said Aug. 12. The number of professionals seeking jobs increased 63 percent in July from a year ago.

“Following the downturn in the economic climate, the format for this permission no longer met the demands of many tenants,” the company said in a filing with the council. “This was primarily due to the ‘mega floorplate’ arrangement which is targeted at a limited number” of potential occupants.

The tower would still be the seventh-tallest in London, according to building-data provider Emporis.

Canary Wharf, which is 69 percent owned by Songbird Estates Plc, has been expanding outside the business district of the same name to gain from London’s recovering property market. The company along with Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund, Qatari Diar, in May won local-government approval to build 877 homes in eight towers near the London Eye Ferris wheel on the River Thames.

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