HB Reavis has unveiled plans for a new skyscraper to replace Sixties block Elizabeth House. The £1.5 billion scheme includes 1 million square feet of office space and new public areas.
If the proposal is granted planning permission, the Slovakian real estate developers would demolish the current building and replace it with a towering, multi-use skyscraper that they claim will support up to 12,000 jobs.
The 30-storey building will sit in between the South Bank and Waterloo Station and include a variety of floor plates in order to attract a diverse range of tenants. The scheme also includes new public space in the form of a pedestrian street and a public square. Waterloo Curve, the new street, will include retail outlets and cafes. Victory Arch Square will connect Waterloo station to the South Bank.
The project was designed by architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and even features public gardens hugging the second floor of the tower. HB Reavis had bought the site with planning permission in 2017 but have since deviated from that scheme which would have included residential space. Instead, they opted for further office space.
Hence, the developers need to re-submit planning application to Lambeth council. They will do this in the first quarter of 2019 and hope to begin construction in 2020. The build is expected to take four to five years and will eventually add over a million square feet of office space to Waterloo.
Kiran Pawar, development director at HB Reavis UK, said: “We are really excited to share our proposals for the complete transformation of this strategically important site for London”.
Elizabeth House has long been earmarked for regeneration. In 2003, P&O Development’s proposals were blocked by the Labour government. Chelsfield and London and Regional Properties proposed a second scheme years later. It was first hindered by Westminster council’s objection that the plan would obstruct views of Parliament Square and – after finally winning consent – was never built.
The building, which was sold to HB Reavis in May of last year for £250 million, has been much criticised for its drab appearance. Its architect John Poulson was convicted of fraud after winning contracts near major stations through bribery and Elizabeth House itself is said to have “worsened Monday mornings for millions”.