PROPERTY FIRM OF THE YEAR |

THE City’s skyline is changing. Skyscrapers are springing up – okay, more slowly than before, but they are coming. Added to that the commitment to opening retail space and the whole character of the Square Mile is changing. At a time when it might have been easier to abandon their projects, they have shown confidence in the City.

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BRITISH LAND

The FTSE 100 company is showing great confidence in the City, first with the 35-storey Broadgate Tower and 201 Bishopsgate complex, which was completed in 2009, then the Ropemaker development, and now with the agreement to develop 5 Broadgate. Its 225m-high Richard Rogers-designed “Cheese Grater” at 122 Leadenhall Street is on the back-burner, but is one of the most keenly-awaited new City landmarks.

HERON

Under the stewardship of Gerald Ronson the company – which is named after Henry Ronson, the current chief executive officer’s father – shed its risky assets before the credit crunch hit and protected itself from the storm that engulfed so many other property firms. It is behind the City’s two most spectacular new residential and business buildings, the Heron and Heron Tower. The firm is helping to define the 21st century City’s skyline.

LAND SECURITIES

The development of One New Change at Cheapside is one of the biggest City developments in living memory. The aim is to make the City into a destination for shoppers and to entice non-workers here – even at weekends. There will be 220,000 sq ft of retail space, restaurants, and a roof-terrace with spectacular views of that under-used asset, St Paul’s. At the moment it’s a building site, but soon it will be a new heart for the City.

SELLERS PROPERTY

The Shard at London Bridge will be one of the most spectacular buildings anywhere, when it is completed. The Renzo Piano-designed skyscraper will stand 310m high and be the tallest building in Western Europe. The viewing platform at the top, with incredible City views, is expected to draw 2m visitors a year. The tower’s history has been troubled, but is now secure after a Qatari consortium bought an 80 per cent stake, with only Sellers remaining of the original investors. It makes the shortlist for sheer perseverance.

CB RICHARD ELLIS

Think of a building in the City, and CB?Richard Ellis has probably been involved with it at some point. It is the leasing agent for the Pinnacle, the 63-storey, 945ft building currently under construction on Bishopsgate, is also selling space in the Heron Tower, and the sparkly new 525,000sq ft glass and steel Watermark Place, the new office space between Cannon Street and London Bridge. It has also been involved with HSBC selling and re-selling its Canary Wharf tower three times in the past 18 months.