The ceremony marks a major milestone in the 1.8 million sq ft development of Paddington Basin, a key development in the West of London. The Carmine building in Merchant Square, designed by Mossessian & Partners is being developed by European Land; the building continues on schedule with completed set for 2010. Marks & Spencer will be among the first tenants, having already taken approximately 170,000 sq ft.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "I am extremely encouraged to see that, despite the current downturn, London is bucking the trend and investors are continuing to show confidence in the capital. Major developments like European Land's Merchant Square are vital, not just for the regeneration of Paddington. They will also ensure that London emerges from the recession with a modern infrastructure that will act as a catalyst for further investment and economic growth once the upturn comes."
The Carmine Building is a15 storey office building combining sculpted triangular volumes and a dynamic façade, with spectacular views towards Hyde Park and the City. Merchant Square, when completed, will create six new buildings in total, including a mix of residential, office and retail uses, regenerating land previously occupied by warehousing and other light industrial uses. The scheme incorporates 555 residential units, with 30 per cent as affordable housing. Its location, next to a major transport hub, will encourage the use of public transport.
European Land Managing Director, Richard Banks, said: “This is a great day for us, and for the whole of the Paddington Basin development, and we are delighted the Mayor has been able to share in this celebration. One of the exciting things about this development is that we are in the process of turning a rundown industrial area in the heart of London into a vibrant and modern space, within walking distance of the West End and just a stones throw from Paddington station. It is already becoming a key destination for residents and businesses alike who want a convenient and calming base close to both the heart of London and the rest of the world.”