Southwark Council Approves Carlyle Group’s $1B M-U Project in London

Southwark Council’s Strategic Planning Committee approved The Carlyle Group's plans to replace two facilities located on the south bank of the River Thames – the Sampson House data center and the Ludgate House office building – with 1.4 million square feet of residential and office space.

Blackfriars LP Architecture and The Carlyle Group

A massive mixed-use regeneration scheme proposed by The Carlyle Group in the city of London has recently been approved by Southwark Council’s Strategic Planning Committee.

The US-based private equity group is planning to replace two facilities located on the south bank of the River Thames  – the Sampson House data center and the Ludgate House office building – with 1.4 million square feet of residential and office space.

Entailing an estimated investment of £1 billion ($1.6 billion), the new development will feature 940,000 square feet of residential space (about 490 new homes), 450,000 square feet of office space, 35,000 square feet of public open spaces, 25,000 square feet of retail and 18,500 square feet of space for cultural use.

PLP Architecture is the designer of the project, which will be delivered in multiple phases. Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as the lease expires for the current tenants in Ludgate House (during the first quarter of 2015) and the Sampson House (during the second quarter of 2018).

Upon completion, expected to occur between mid-2020 and early 2023, the development will include a total of nine buildings, the tallest of which will be a 48-story residential high-rise. Three of the new structures will be located on the western Ludgate House side of the site, while the remaining six are slated to rise on the eastern side of the Sampson House location.

Residents and visitors will be able to enjoy large areas of open space, including a 4,300-square-foot children’s square and a new 16,250-square-foot public square bordered by retail, leisure and cultural space in the lower floors of the new buildings.

As a result of the new development, the London Borough of Southwark, the Greater London Authority and Transport for London will benefit from a £75 million (nearly$120 million) Section 106 investment. The amount includes a £65 million ($103.5 million) affordable housing contribution, which will help create 260 new affordable homes in Southwark.

“Our vision of an exciting new urban quarter on this prime Thames-side location has taken a significant step towards realization with the council’s decision to provide planning consent for our project.  The site, which is right on the river, is currently extremely under-utilized from a physical, social, employment as well as cultural perspective and the support we have received from the local community and Southwark Council throughout this process, and last night, endorses our belief in the need for change,” said Mark Harris, managing director at The Carlyle Group said in a prepared statement. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a vibrant new destination area, with homes, retail and leisure facilities which brings thousands of new jobs to the area, while at the same time allowing us to make a significant contribution to Southwark’s wider housing requirements.”

“This is an amazingly exciting project which will bring new homes, new jobs and new opportunities for Southwark and its’ residents – everyone in our borough can benefit from developments like this,”   added Councilor Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council “It is further proof that Southwark is the new vital heart of London and is not afraid to play its part in leading the whole city out of recession.”