London’s skyline has changed dramatically over the last decade and will continue to do so in the next. Since October 2008, London has seen the likes of – The Leadenhall Building (The Cheesegrater) and 20 Fenchurch Street (The Walkie Talkie) both opened their doors in 2014, whilst 110 Bishopsgate (Heron Tower) appeared a few years before in 2011 and Broadgate Tower a few years before that in 2009. In addition to the various office developments which have been completed in the Square Mile, the first vertical City, The Shard, opened in early 2013.
The Shard was different to the other “tall buildings” being constructed in The City, not only was it South of the River, but it was the first Tower in the UK to be truly mixed-use. The Shard itself has not only has office accommodation for a range of commercial occupiers from Mitie and Heinz through to The University of Warwick but it also includes retail, a luxury five-star hotel, destination restaurants, a hospital and a major tourist attraction. Due to its distinctive design and location, The Shard stands out from the crowd.
The next wave of interesting new buildings is once again due to change the London skyline in the next few years. Nearing completion is 70 St Mary Axe with its striking shape and design, and Twentytwo will change how we view a traditional office buildings, with more communal space and a sense of community. Also, currently under construction also is 1 Undershaft, Spire London and Landmark Pinnacle all due to complete in the next few years.
The Shard will remain the tallest however, not only in the UK but Western Europe at a staggering 310 meters, Undershaft and Twentytwo will raise up at similarly staggering heights but be just slightly shorter.
Obviously constructing such impressive buildings as The Shard, 70 St Mary Axe and Twentytwo is a highly complex and specialist operation, which requires exceptional Development Management, Construction and Project Management skills. From MRG’s standpoint, it is the ongoing operational management of these assets which we are particularly interested in. While having completed a vast number of Estate/Property Management roles across horizontal campus’ such as Shopping Centres, business parks, public sector estates and Universities; in the past 18 months we have gained a track record of working with managing agents and landlords setting up and managing vertical campus’ in some London’s finest Tall buildings.
A snapshot of some of our current mandates include –
General Manager – Shard Quarter
General Manager – 70 St Mary Axe
Head of Engineering – Twentytwo
The skill sets, competencies and characteristics of these types of appointment are varied and each look for something slightly different. However, due to the very fact that 10 years ago, London was not a City full of Tall Buildings, the skill set is limited. We must look to aligned sectors with complimentary skills to enhance the candidate pool available to us. Hospitality, retail, traditional business parks and public attractions, offer similarities from an operational and customer focussed approach.
Customer service levels are improving and the need to ensure that occupiers have the very best experience is vital to the success of such structures. The Landlords and Investors behind these schemes seem to have come to the realisation that the people running the operations of these Buildings are just as important as the physical structures surrounding them.
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