Work starts on Walkie Talkie tower

CONSTRUCTION work began on the Walkie Tower on Fenchurch Street yesterday, kicking off three years of building work that is set to cost £500m and create around 3,000 jobs.

Developers Land Securities and Canary Wharf Group agreed to resurrect the project as a 50-50 joint venture last October after it was shelved in 2009.

Demolition of the previous 20 Fenchurch Street building, which was once home to investment bank Kleinwort Benson, has finished and the first foundation works will start this week.

Canary Wharf Group chief executive George Iacobescu said at the ground breaking event: “It’s a fantastic combination – it’s a dream ticket to have these two big developers working together. It’s going to be a boost for the London economy.

“This is our second project in the City and we hope to continue our diversification by working in the West End and the City.”

Robert Noel, London portfolio manager for Land Securities, said the project was part of 1.9m square feet of development planned by the firm in the last year.

The building will have floor plates ranging between 14,000 and 28,000 square feet, though the developers remained tight-lipped about potential tenants yesterday.