Hackney’s first 50-storey building to rise in E1

Site of Principal Place 50-storey residential tower in Shoreditch Lon July 2013 is believed to be the empty block pictured © david.altheer@gmail.com

CHINESE FLAT-BUYERS are the target for what is likely to be Hackney’s highest building, the 50-storey Principal Place in Shoreditch.

Flats in the 164m-high (538ft) tower in Norton Folgate, a traffic-heavy Shoreditch street next to the Light Bar at E1 6PJ, will be marketed specifically to investors in the Far East.

Fifty of the 243 flats on the site, the empty modern block above, are designated “affordable”, a concept that looks less and less meaningful, especially given the high-worth buyers being targeted.

The tower, potentially worth £300 million in itself, is a project by two Canadian companies, Brookfield Office Properties and Concord Pacific, founded by Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong billionaire now based in Vancouver. The architect is Foster and Partners of Gherkin fame.

Brookfield inherited the Principal Place scheme when it completed its purchase of the office portfolio of Hammerson London for £518 million this month July 2013.

Property commentators says the development is likely to go ahead because “a major pre-let” has signed and because demand for high-rise Shoreditch-Hoxton residential is “hot”.

Hackney council gave planning permission in 2009 for three skyscrapers containing flats, a hotel and offices on the site. Work is due to start late this autumn 2013.

Matt Johnson, who co-chairs Shoreditch Community Association, commented: “As Hackney council seems to be rubbing its hands in anticipation of the extra council tax from these new skyscrapers, it seems there is little the people of Shoreditch can do about these awful developments.”

David Altheer 140713 

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