Earls Court Developer Submits Plans for Empress State Building

31 storey Tower block could be clad in bronze and house 340 homes


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Capco, the developer behind the controversial plans to redevelop the Earls Court area, has submitted plans to Hammersmith and Fulham Council to convert the 31-storey Empress State building into flats.

The plans, drawn up by architect KPF involve the creation of 340 one, two and three-bed homes with shops on the ground floor.

KPF has also proposed that the high rise building’s facades are re-clad in bronze, helping to form balconies and provide improved insulation.

Capco is intending to see the scheme delivered as part of the highly controversial scheme to redevelop the Earls Court area, which was signed off by London mayor Boris Johnson last summer.

After being the owner of 50% of the imposing building, Cap co acquired the remaining 50% from Land Securities Group for £117 million in June this year,

This building is in the centre of the area Capco is hoping to redevelop, between the exhibition centre and West Kensington and Gibbs Green Estates.

At the time Empress State Building was not part of the masterplan for the development as it is rented out to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, which is paying an annual rent of £14.9 million.

However, the developer indicated that it hoped to turn it into flats when this lease comes to an end in June 2019.

Gary Yardley, Investment Director of Capco, said: "The Empress State Building provides an attractive income stream until 2019 whilst offering a number of options to create further value over the medium-term as the area benefits from the implementation of the Earls Court Masterplan."

The Empress State was built in 1961 and was originally designed to be a hotel but has since been used as offices by the Admiralty, GCHQ and Transport for London. It is now used by police divisions such as Firearms Licensing who say it is a secure site which is not open to the public.

The building was renovated in 2003 to add three extra floors, including a private revolving bar called Orbit.


January 6, 2014