Work on the Pinnacle halts again amid tenant drought

Marion Dakers
WORK HAS stopped on the Pinnacle skyscraper on Bishopsgate for a second time, as the developer struggles to find enough pre-let tenants.

Construction officially halted last week with the tower just seven storeys high. However, City sources say work had been very slow over recent months, making possible tenants more reluctant to consider the building.

Work first stopped last year, restarting in September after developer Arab Investments secured a new tranche of funding from HSBC and HSH Nordbank.

Arab had embarked on a fresh capital drive in 2010 but failed to keep construction work going, as reported in City A.M. (below).

And now conditions on the funding requiring a certain level of pre-let deals appear to have kicked in again.

Around 10 per cent of the 945 foot-tall Pinnacle, also known as the Helter Skelter, has reportedly been let.

“The City leasing market is difficult… The Pinnacle is a statement building, a very adventurous project, but how many possible tenants are prepared to make a statement like that in the current climate?” said one property source, who declined to be named.
The £800m tower has already fallen behind its original schedule and currently has a completion target of 2015. The Pinnacle, if it is finished on time, will come to market more than a year after rival developments including Land Securities’ Walkie Talkie tower on Fenchurch Street and British Land’s Cheesegrater project.

Agents for the skyscrapers are competing for a dwindling number of large tenants looking to pre-let a sizeable chunk of a tower. Schroders suspended its search for up to 250,000 square feet of office space in December amid economic uncertainty.

Arab Investments along with CB Richard Ellis and Savills, the joint leasing agents on the tower, were unavailable for comment yesterday.

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