Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Flattery ?

It would be instructive to see ITV's business plan for the redevelopment of their site on London's South Bank. I'll take a wild guess that there might be another, smaller, tower block going up on the site - and a wilder one that some pretty expensive flats might be part of the proposal.

London Weekend started operating from the site in 1972. The offices, in Kent Tower, run to 22 floors, straddling three large and three small tv studios at the base, covering a 2.5 acre site previously known as King's Reach. The architects were Elsom Pack Roberts - EPR.  The new development was actually owned by the National Coal Board Pension Fund, and LWT took a 100-year lease. Since 2003, ITV has been buying that out, and now owns the freehold.

CEO Adam Crozier has begun consultations with the unions on closing the big studios operation, saying in the new development there'll will only be smaller studios dedicated to daily shows such as GMB, This Morning and Loose Women. Big shiny floor shows, like Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway, will have to strike deals with other suppliers - perhaps BBC Studioworks.

There'll be disruption, too, for the office workers, who face a move to temporary accommodation in the old Prudential Building on Holborn, previously occupied by Skype.

If, say, you converted Kent Tower to residential (building a smaller, squatter office block at the base), you might get 100 three-bedroom luxury flats, many with river views.  Nearby, the former IPC building, which used to be known as King's Reach, is now South Bank Tower, with the first of over 180 apartments now on offer at £8.5m.

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