Ronson tops out the City’s Heron Tower

HERON Tower, the tallest building in the City of London, was yesterday “topped out” at a ceremony held by the developer Heron International and construction firm Skanska.

The 46-storey development, near Liverpool Street Station, is to be completed in February next year and will add 40,836 square metres of commercial office space to the London market.

Plans for Heron Tower first kicked off in 1999 and Gerald Ronson, chief executive of Heron International, expressed relief that the Tower was finally nearing completion after a number of planning difficulties in the early stages of development.

“I’m delighted. It’s taken a long time, but we finally got there,” he said. “I, more than most, know that property is a long-term business. After all, I’ve been doing it for over 50 years. But if you had told me in 1999, that the Topping Out of Heron Tower would be in 2010, I think even I would have thought that was a little longer than expected.”

Heron is not expected to have any problems finding occupants, given the shortage of supply and lack of speculative prime office development that currently exists in the City, property analysts said.

“Whether this is by luck or judgment, I believe that Heron Tower has come to market at the right time,” Ronson added.

The Lord Mayor of London, Nick Anstee, said that economic growth had started to return to the City after struggling during the financial crisis.

He said: “This brilliant glass and steel tower, all 46 storeys, is a great addition to the London skyline. To me this kind of building encapsulates the spirit of optimism and of business growth that I hope the next decade will bring the City and the UK.”

The building will also provide restaurants and a sky bar in addition to the office space.