Construction work on London's first 1,000-feet (305-metre) skyscraper, dubbed the Shard, is to start next month, according to the project's Qatari-led group.
Mace Group won the contract to start the first phase of the £2 billion (Dh10.69bn) project to redevelop a site near London Bridge, developer LBQ said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. The tower is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2012.
The Qatari developers got financing for the Shard project, nicknamed from its resemblance to a sliver of broken glass, from Qatar Investment Authority in December. LBQ is proceeding even as developers, including British Land and Land Securities Group have halted plans for towers in the City of London financial district, where rents and building values are falling.
"The investors in LBQ have great confidence that the Shard will be completed on schedule in what are very difficult economic conditions," Salah Mohamad Jaidah, LBQ's chairman, said.
Mace's contract covers the construction of the 80-storey tower designed by architect Renzo Piano in the first phase of a project to build two million square feet of offices, shops, restaurants, luxury apartments and a hotel.
LBQ is owned equally by Qatar Islamic Bank, Qinvest, Qatar National Bank, Barwa International and the UK's Sellar Group.