by Meyrem Hussein
Saturday, February 23, 2013
An abandoned 27-storey concrete skeleton that has loomed over Old Street for years is finally about to be finished – and will help transform it into a new shopping district.
Workmen have already picked up their tools in order to transform the current eyesore into a landmark skyscraper with breathtaking views of the London skyline.
Work on the Eagle House development, which is on the fringes of Old Street roundabout, stalled around two years ago ahead of its owners going into administration.
But new owners Mount Anvil, who last year snapped up the site for around £50million, have promised that Eagle House will now be finished by autumn 2015 – and have even reappointed the original architects, internationally-renowned Farrells, to keep up the quality.
The development, on the site of a former car park, is made up of the 27-storey tower, which will feature stone cladding and aluminium-framed windows, and the original 1930s Eagle House building, which has already been refurbished.
Once finished, the £160million scheme will boast 206 luxury homes, 70 affordable flats, more than 6,000 square metres of shops, eateries and offices, basement parking and a new public square.
The news has been welcomed by residents.
Leo Chapman, a journalist of Alleyn House, off Whitecross Street, Finsbury, said it was about time something was done about the “eyesore”.
He said: “It’s been a concrete skeleton for years. They built the frame and since then it’s been 27 storeys of concrete looming over Moorfields Eye Hospital and much of Finsbury.”
Rev Jennifer Potter, of Wesley’s Chapel in City Road, Finsbury, added: “It’s half-built so this is a welcome relief. We need to have the building finished and used.”
Mount Anvil, together with AREA Property Partners, bought Eagle House from administrators PKF in October 2012 after Eagle House’s former owners, McCabe Eagle House Ltd, went into administration.
Brian De’ath, sales director of Mount Anvil, which is based in Aldersgate Street, Finsbury, said: “It sat there like a blot on the landscape with a crane on top.
“The property market in the past two years has been very buoyant so it defied logic to have this 27-storey tower lying idle.
“If you look at the number of schemes – all of which are towers – that are planned for City Road over the next few years, we are seeing the creation of a new high street.
“City Road is not somewhere anyone at this time would want to go. But they will.”
This is Mount Anvil’s second major tower project in City Road. The Lexicon, a 36-storey skyscraper overlooking the Regent’s Canal, is being built together with housing provider Affinity Sutton and should be finished by 2016.