Chinese firm to build Europe’s tallest residential tower in London

12th September 2016

Plans for £800m Spire London include controversial ‘poor doors’ for social tenants and private lifts for penthouses

On the eve of crucial talks between the British and Chinese over investment in the UK, Shanghai’s biggest property developer is to go ahead with an £800m tower in London, poised to be western Europe’s tallest residential skyscraper.

But with a separate “poor door” entrance for social tenants housed on the lower floors, and private elevators for the super-rich to speed to £3m penthouse apartments on the 67th floor, the new tower will revive controversy over inequality in the capital.

Spire London will rise 235 metres (771ft) on a site close to Canary Wharf in London Docklands. It promises “five-star lifestyle amenities” including a 35th-floor club and infinity pool with spectacular views over the city. But these will be reserved for private buyers, with one-bed “luxurious suites” to go on sale from £595,000.

The affordable housing units will make up 96 of the 861 apartments, but the developers insist they will have equal access to other communal facilities on the third floor, including a creche, meeting rooms, games room, and a “music/learning/cultural space”.

The developers are China’s biggest private property company, Greenland Group, and its UK managing director said the venture was a major confidence boost for London’s post-Brexit property market.

“This important launch reflects the confidence that Greenland Group continues to have in both the London economy and the London property market”, said Wenhao Qian.

In the immediate aftermath of the EU referendum vote, prices at many tower developments stumbled, particularly in the London area. Property websites began advertising many unfinished flats below the original purchase price in an attempt to lure buyers.

Source: “Chinese firm to build Europe’s tallest residential tower in London”, The Guardian, 05/09/16.