Canary Wharf set to take a stake in the Walkie Talkie

PROPERTY giants Land Securities and Canary Wharf are in discussions about joining forces to build the currently mothballed Walkie Talkie skyscraper in Fenchurch Street.

Land Securities has been looking for a joint venture partner for the £300m office tower in order to spread the risk of the speculative development. It is understood that Canary Wharf will take as much as a 50 per cent stake in the project.

Canary Wharf wants to secure its reputation as a prominent developer in the City after successfully teaming up with Morgan Stanley Real Estate to develop Drapers Gardens in 2007.

Land Securities plans to complete the building of the tower by 2014 when it predicts there will be a shortage of office space. City rents have shot up by 12 per cent since the start of 2010 and many in the market predict further rises throughout the year.

However, the two developers have not yet completed a deal and Land Securities is still talking to a number of possible investors, including sovereign wealth funds.

“We are in discussions with a number of parties,” a company spokesman said.

Land Securities is planning a property development push and last week put its Stratford shopping mall up for sale in order to boost its cash coffers. The mall attracts average footfall in excess of 400,000 a week.