Canary Wharf set to win Shell Centre redevelopment bid

THE property developer Canary Wharf Group is set to be selected by Royal Dutch Shell to transform the area around the oil firm’s London headquarters, near Waterloo station.

The developer, which is majority owned by Songbird Estates, has teamed up with Qatari Diar, the property investment arm of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, to offer up to £350m for the redevelopment deal, the Sunday Times reported this weekend.

The deal will see houses, offices and shops built on the five acres of land surrounding the well-known 1950s tower in central London. The first phase is expected to be completed by 2016.

Shell first announced plans to rejuvenate the Shell Centre on the south bank of the Thames in 1997 but the scheme was put on hold. Last year, the oil company revived its search for a development partner.

Other bidders included Chelsfield, led by Sir Stuart Lipton in partnership with London & Regional, the property company of entrepreneurs Ian and Richard Livingstone.

Development Securities, in a consortium with Carlyle, was considered second favourite to develop the scheme but the group backed out last week after Canary Wharf Group, with backing from Qatari Diar, became the clear frontrunners.

Last year Shell signed a 15-year deal with Songbird Estates to relocate its staff to 40 Bank Street in Canary Wharf while it redevelops the Waterloo site.

Canary Wharf Group declined to comment yesterday.

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