Tuesday 27 April 2021 12:54 pm

City of London plans to convert empty office space into housing

Empty office space in the City will be converted into housing as part of a wider post-Covid revamp of the Square Mile.

The City of London Corporation has outlined plans to convert some of the vacant office space into at least 1,500 new units by 2030. It comes as part of an overhaul of the City to boost both its competitiveness and attractiveness.

The proposals published today also offer creatives an opportunity to let space in office blocks, while also improving 5G infrastructure to lure tech startups into the area.

“This report sets out how we can leverage this momentum and build back better. The Square Mile’s future is bright and we will rise to the challenge of adapting to the new normal that emerges after the pandemic,” Lord Mayor William Russell said.

The Corporation has proposed a renewed focus on the City’s gardens, streets and public spaces as well as improving cycle routes in a bid to make the area “attractive and inclusive places to spend time”.

Looking forward the report sets out bold plans to bring life back into an area that has been largely deserted for the past year since the pandemic first hit.

The current guidelines still insist employees work from home meaning the local economy continues to suffer. As a result the Corporation is looking at opportunities to breathe life back into the City’s weekend and nighttime offering.

Its “bold programming” may include traffic-free Saturdays or Sundays in summer, or an all-night cultural celebration.

“The Square Mile must evolve in order to provide an ecosystem that remains attractive to workers, visitors, learners and residents,” policy chair Catherine McGuinness said. “This will involve encouraging growth, fostering talent from all backgrounds, providing a vibrant leisure offer and offering outstanding environments.”

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