29 April 2021
City of London to convert office space to housing
Plans have been announced by The City of London Corporation to convert empty office space into housing to help revitalise the area after the pandemic.
The Corporation, which is responsible for the Square Mile, aims to create 1,500 new homes over the next nine years. It said at least 35 per cent of these would be affordable housing "with an ambition to deliver higher levels of affordable housing where this is viable".
It plans to build both new schemes and renovate older buildings to meet its housing target.
The Corporation said it must "rise to the challenge of adapting to the new normal that emerges after the pandemic,” after firms had said that their operations would be changing to adapt to flexible working.
Under the new plans, long-term lets in empty buildings could be offered to creatives, while the City of London would also endeavour to draw "high-potential tech-led businesses" to the area with various improvements including improvements to 5G infrastructure.
Catherine McGuinness, City of London Corporation’s policy chair, said:
"Firms have told us that they remain committed to retaining a central London hub but how they operate will inevitably change to reflect post-pandemic trends, such as hybrid and flexible working. The Square Mile must evolve in order to provide an ecosystem that remains attractive to workers, visitors, learners and residents."