The Berkeley real estate group in London has recently received preliminary approval for the development of 1,800 residences in the area in which the News International publishing site was once situated.
The project, known as “London Dock”, is set to take shape in the formerly known “Fortress Wapping” where Rupert Murdoch’s editorial group was based for over 25 years, the headquarters for noted newspapers such as “Times”, “Sunday Times”, “The Sun” and “News of the World”.
One of Britain’s most renowned construction companies, St. George which is part of the Berkeley group decided to demolish almost all of the buildings in order to create around 1,800 homes with surrounding green space and a further 20,000 square meters of offices and stores at a short distance from Tower Bridge.
The ex-rum warehouse located in the center of this new residential area is to be restored and shall be transformed into a shopping center with numerous restaurants, bars, stores and offices. Furthermore, eight tall buildings from five to twenty-five floors shall be built around the central area of the new complex.
The London commune has bound the company to construct a school, as well as providing a financial contribution to improve the public bus service in the area. The work is set to begin within 2014 with the intention to finish in 15 years. According to the manager at St. Georges it shall be “a high quality real-estate complex in a new neighborhood full of vitality”.
The Wapping district was purchased by Murdoch in 1986 to this day and real estate prices have increased by 7.9% in the last year. According to Knight Frank around 7 billion pounds (around 5 billion euro) shall be invested to construct the new complex.
Murdoch decided to downsize the News International group and to move the main headquarters following various scandals. Subsequently selling the complex to Berkeley for 150 million pounds (around 110 million euro) moving his headquarters to London Bridge Quarter next to the Shard skyscraper by Renzo Piano.