A consortium of investors led by French fund manager Axa Real Estate is in talks to buy the stalled Pinnacle tower development in London.
Axa is heading a consortium of overseas investors that has entered a bid of around £220m to buy the site on 22-24 Bishopsgate site in the City of London. HSH Nordbank, which issued the £145m loan to fund the £210m purchase of the site in 2007, will be repaid as part of the deal.
Pinnacle developer Arab Investment and Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund Sedco appointed CBRE to find a buyer last year, after funding dried up on the landmark London project.
The 63-storey tower, nicknamed the helter-skelter because of its complex twisting profile, would be the tallest building in the Square Mile, at 945ft, but the Shard, at 1,014ft, would remain the capital’s tallest building.
If Axa is successful, it is understood its consortium will attempt to reduce the original £550m development costs by redesigning the scheme and applying for revised planning permission. The new design could spell the end for the helter skelter design in order to make development more cost effective.
Brookfield Multiplex started the project in 2010 but funding dried up after the core was built in 2011. The seven-storey core has since been nicknamed the Stump.
The move could result in on of the Square Mile’s biggest white elephants finally being built, following its launch to great fanfare in 2006. Almost £400m has already been spent on the scheme, which will sit alongside the Gherkin and Cheesegrater in the City’s skyline.
If the deal goes through, completion remains unlikely to be complete until the end of 2018.