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Kept on Track

14 February 2011

With the construction sites for Crossrail on their doorstep, occupiers of the PaddingtonCentral office development have been kept up-to-date by the good working relationships built up with the several construction teams

PaddingtonCentral is set around Sheldon Square

EFFECTIVE ESTATE MANAGEMENT and strong working partnerships ensure the smooth and continued operation of PaddingtonCentral, a vibrant and busy community, while Crossrail one of London's largest infrastructure projects is delivered alongside.
Crossrail trains will travel from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the west on London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east via new twin tunnels under central London linking Heathrow Airport, the West End, the City of London and Canary Wharf.
PaddingtonCentral, is a 1.6m sq ft mixed use development by Development Securities and Aviva Investors, and one of central London’s premier office locations. It is a neighbour to Crossrail and the management team at PaddingtonCentral is working hard to ensure the smooth day-to-day running of the estate while it is surrounded by three zones of Crossrail construction and activity.
PaddingtonCentral includes Sheldon Square a 630,000 sq ft development including 338,000 sq ft of office space, 219 flats and 95,000 sq ft of retail space. The second phase of development includes One and Two Kingdom Street comprising 500,000 sq ft of office space and the four-star Novotel London Paddington hotel. The development is home to occupiers such as Prudential, Kingfisher, Vodafone and Misys.
The Paddington Integrated Project (PIP) is responsible for the Crossrail development in the Paddington area and represents a close collaboration between Crossrail, London Underground, Network Rail and Transport for London to create a truly integrated station that offers a superior passenger experience with easy interchanges. Network Rail is also undertaking major improvement work at the same time including restoration of the Paddington station roof.
Transformation
The Grade 1 listed station and the immediate surrounding area will be transformed over the coming years with a new Crossrail station being built under Eastbourne Terrace and Departures Road. A new Hammersmith & City line station is also being developed which will ease existing over-crowding on the station platform and will provide capacity for the anticipated growth in passenger numbers. It will also ensure that passengers can access the station more easily and move between the various different transport interchanges with greater ease and in a much improved environment. The new station will have step-free entrance from the canal side with access to a new taxi facility which will be relocated between the main line station and the canal.
It is this area, known as the Triangle Site, that is experiencing the most activity and where Alison Shields, Executive Director of PaddingtonCentral Management Company and her team are working very closely with Crossrail.
Commenting on the scale of the project, she said, "When you think of Crossrail you may assume that its one big project but for the Paddington area the contract is split into four
hubs, Westbourne Park, Royal Oak, Eastbourne Terrace and PIP. We liaise mainly with two out of the four. This in itself is a challenge, dealing with two very distinct teams with different priorities and different contractors, Carillion on the PIP project and Costain – Skanska Joint Venture at Royal Oak. We are fortunate that Crossrail has nominated one individual as our main point of contact otherwise it would be a complete nightmare. "
She added "The entrance of the new Hammersmith & City station will be located on the canal very close to PaddingtonCentral and the new taxi rank will be opposite the entrance to our development. Neighbouring Eastbourne Terrace is where the new Crossrail station is being built. It’s all happening right on our doorstep. The other main area of development that will impact upon us is at Royal Oak where Crossrail goes underground. We are also accommodating the Crossrail site depot and work compound on our site, under the Crossrail Deck which the development team built in 2002."
This unique deck was built, at significant cost, over the whole of the undeveloped part of the site at that time, creating a landscaped podium on which further offices could be built.
Owing to the site levels the deck appears to be at ground level and links with the podium already in place on Phase 1. The deck now has part of One Kingdom Street and all of Two Kingdom Street office buildings erected on top of it and in time Four and Five Kingdom Street will also be erected on top of it as well.
The PaddingtonCentral Management Company manages the process and the working relationships on a daily basis to ensure that the Crossrail construction doesn’t impact on what is a vibrant, busy and established community.
Shields explains, "Crossrail have a legal right to cross our development but we have an agreed access and management strategy which we enforce. We appreciate that we both have a job to do and we have excellent communications with the Crossrail team on the ground who make the day-to-day decisions. As well as informal daily communication, the full team meets once a month to discuss current issues and forthcoming activities. If there are any big jobs coming up these need to be properly scheduled and managed to cause the least possible impact on the estate. It’s a good example of partnership working. Each party respects and understands the complexities of the others job."
Muddy vehicles
Shields explained that vehicle access is one of the main challenges in terms of estate management: "The volume of construction vehicles on our private estate roads is considerable. By their very nature these vehicles are often oversized, heavy and often muddy. The whole interface requires constant communication and management. Crossrail are also very mindful that vibration from piling work being carried out on their work site could be problematic to the surrounding structures – not least, Bishopsbridge which is immediately adjacent to the Triangle Site. Cossrail have installed meters which measure movement on the surrounding structures to ensure that their work is not having an effect on adjacent structures. Most of the piling work has now been completed on the Triangle Site and this has been without incident."
When it comes to keeping PaddingtonCentral’s occupiers and residents happy and informed, Shields again views communication as vital: "We already communicate with tenants and residents on a very regular basis about general estate matters and, therefore, they are aware of any Crossrail activity which might impact upon them.
Because of this, as a rule, there are no complaints. We try our best to ensure that it doesn’t get to that point. We hold regular FM meetings and inform all managers of future planned Crossrail activities so they know what to expect."
Crossrail are also engaging with the community: Shields explains, "Crossrail are very understanding of our requirements and that of the community and other stakeholders.
They look at everything very carefully and they consult extensively. They are very proactive in their community engagement and are looking to become more involved with the Paddington Waterside Partnership (PWP)."
All the contractors involved in the four development hubs (Morgan Sindell, Costain-Skanska, Laing O’Rourke and Carillion) have worked to support the community, including donating gifts to the ‘Time for Paddington’ Christmas campaign which PWP organise to raise money for four local charities. The contractors have also donated site materials to the Westminster Academy to help with their flower beds and gardens as well as giving career talks to the students. The Crossrail recruitment team has worked with ‘Westminster Works’ to place five people into employment on the Crossrail project.
Community
A longer term and a more formalised community engagement strategy is planned for the immediate future, Crossrail have met with Time for Paddington (part of PWP) to identify areas where Crossrail can work with them to implement their new community investment strategy which all main works contractors will have to adopt.
Simon Bennett, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Crossrail said: "Major improvements to transport connections will greatly assist the transformation of the Paddington area. Paddington Central fully recognises the major benefits that Crossrail will bring and has been very accommodating regards construction activity in the vicinity of their buildings. Between us we do all we can to ensure they, and their tenants are fully informed. We have regular meetings and the relationship is excellent at all levels."
Alison concluded, "Crossrail being constructed on our door step is a challenge but it’s a good one to tackle. We are working together to cause minimum disruption to the community in the short term while knowing that Crossrail will bring about substantial benefits long term to Paddington. I can’t wait until Bond Street is only one stop away although I suspect my bank manager won’t be so happy!
Benefits of Crossrail
The Crossrail service will significantly reduce journey times from Paddington to the City as well as providing improved access to Heathrow, west London and Berkshire. When Crossrail opens in 2018, Paddington will be just 2 minutes from Bond Street, 10 minutes to Liverpool Street and the City and 17 minutes to Canary Wharf.
Crossrail will provide better access to the capital for the 750,000 workers who already commute into London and provide strategic interchanges for local, national and international business and leisure travellers.
During the construction phase alone, Crossrail will generate up to 14,000 jobs at the peak of construction activity. Overall the benefits of Crossrail are estimated to be at least £42bn in current prices.
 


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