AXA to build Parry’s Fenchurch Street tower


50 Fenchurch Street has been designed by Eric Parry Architects with distinctive ‘vertical landscaping’

Insurance giant AXA has acquire 50 Fenchurch Street from The Clothworkers’ Company, complete with planning permission for a new 36-storey office tower.

The 650,000 sq ft development, designed by Eric Parry Architects, is notable for the greenery with which it will be covered.

AXA IM Alts has exchanged contracts to acquire a long leasehold of 50 Fenchurch Street from The Clothworkers’ Company, one of the city’s various medieval livery companies.

The fully consented plans include the retention of the Tower of All Hallows Staining and Lambe’s Chapel Crypt, two historic listed buildings on the site, which will form part of new public realm, while a new Livery Hall will also be built for The Clothworkers’ Company as part of the development.

As part of the City of London’s initiative for a significant increase in urban greening in the built environment, it will incorporate vertical greening that is designed to mitigate air and noise pollution and improve biodiversity, enabling the scheme to target BREEAM Outstanding and net zero in operation.

YardNine will act as development delivery partner for the project with construction due to start in 2024 and delivery targeted for 2028.

AXA IM Alts also funded construction of the nearby 22 Bishopsgate, a 62-storey tower.

Isabelle Scemama, global head of AXA IM Alts, and chief executive of AXA IM Real Assets, said: “Since the pandemic there has been a pronounced increase in demand from occupiers for high quality, sustainable and wellness-focussed offices.  We have seen this first hand at our flagship development 22 Bishopsgate which is now 80% let and expect this flight to quality to become even more acute over the coming years as businesses adapt to new working patterns. 50 Fenchurch presents us with another rare opportunity to secure a prime development site in the City of London, which we continue to believe is one of the most desirable office locations in the world.  Our team’s track record in development and ability to execute complex transactions quickly and with certainty for the counterparty have been pivotal in securing this new flagship investment.  We now look forward to working with The Clothworkers’ Company to deliver a highly sustainable new office development in the coming years.”

Jocelyn Stuart-Grumbar, clerk to The Clothworkers’ Company and chief executive of The Clothworkers’ Foundation, added: “We are excited to move forward with this ambitious project. When complete, it will be part of a new generation of buildings upholding environmentally-aware standards, provide state-of-the-art office facilities, and help improve the built environment and public space for people living and working in the Square Mile. But for us, it’s not just an exciting new building development; it is part of our long-term strategy for investing in the future of The Clothworkers’ Company and The Clothworkers’ Foundation. This scheme offers us the opportunity to unlock our assets and increase our charitable impact as we help our communities rebuild from the pandemic and secure our philanthropic legacy for the next 500 years.”

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