A 27-storey building prominently located along the Southbank beside the iconic London Eye. This riverside position, combined with direct access to the adjacent Waterloo station, mean that Royal Dutch Shell's towering headquarters and the surrounding five acres of land are considered to be one of the capital's last remaining major development sites.
The Dockland’s developer working in partnership with Qatari Diar, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, has worked up redevelopment proposals that will include additional office space, shops and the introduction of residential apartments, whilst retaining Shell's 1950s office tower.
The first phase of the 1.5m square feet scheme is anticipated to be completed by 2015/16.
It was reported in the Daily Telegraph that the JV “pair are thought to have offered about £350m to secure the mandate.”
Although, plans to redevelop the area were first announced back in 1997, the oil company only formally begun a search for a new development partner last year, when its corporate real estate advisors CBRE and financiers Rothschild bank began marketing the 5.25 acre site that it owns on the South Bank of the Thames.
The selection process led to a shortlist, with the Canary Wharf JV team facing stiff competition from the following bidders: Chelsfield in partnership with London & Regional; Development Securities in a joint venture with Carlyle; and the property investor CIT plc. Canary Wharf’s bid was widely viewed to be Shell’s preferred option, once news was released in 2010 that they had signed a separate 15-year lease deal for office space in Docklands.
The imminent redevelopment of the Shell Centre had naturally created an urgent office space requirement and Songbird Estates, the majority shareholder of Canary Wharf Group plc, was able to agree terms with the petrol giant to lease 40 Bank Street in Canary Wharf E14.
Royal Dutch Shell has now begun moving offices to the 187, 000 square foot office space in Canary Wharf to allow for redevelopment of its Waterloo site. It is expected that close to 1,500 staff will relocate to the new premises on Bank Street E14, while 1,700 employees will remain at their Southbank HQ.
Chairman of Shell UK James Smith said that the Shell Centre will continue to be its “home in London” despite the partial staff move.
He added “The site is an exceptional location in one of the world’s great cities. We want to redevelop it to its full, modern potential in keeping with the continuing development of London’s South Bank”.
Canary Wharf Group is renowned for developing 100 acres of office space in the Docklands area of the city. However, as recently reported by freeofficefinder.com the company has already venture west of the Isle of Dogs and into the City of London to build a heaquarters for BlackRock and has joined forces with Land Securities to erect the 37-storey “Walkie-Talkie”tower on Fenchurch St.