For the second time, work on the Bishopsgate Tower, aka the Pinnacle or the Helter-Skelter, has been halted because of financial concerns. The developer, Arab Investments, has for the time being failed to pre-let enough of the tower to guarantee a half-billion pound package from HSBC.
The core of the on-again off-again skyscraper is currently nudging past the ninth floor, with work having only re-started last year after it was put on hold in late 2010. Should it ever reach its full height of 288m, it would be the tallest building in the Square Mile.
London’s clutch of new skyscrapers has been the subject of much criticism and discussion recently, with one report from Barclays suggesting that tall buildings could be harbingers of recession. While the argument is a flawed one, the appearance of all this new office space may not be what the capital needs in the years ahead: Reuters notes that the four most conspicuous under-construction towers, the Shard, 20 Fenchurch Street (Walkie-Talkie) and 122 Leadenhall Street (Cheesegrater) and the Bishopsgate Tower, have signed only a single office deal between them. Not a sign of a healthy market, then.