Chiswick Tower sale raises hopes for Gunnersbury Station upgrade

Image above: Back entrance to Gunnersbury Station with Chiswick Tower in the background

Chiswick Tower sold to buyer in the Middle East

Hopes have been raised of a much-anticipated upgrade for Gunnersbury Station following the sale of Chiswick Tower.

The site was previously held by Federated Hermes, who were reluctant to allow renovation work to improve station access because they wanted to protect their car park. The American investment company prioritised retaining the building for rental returns rather than exploring redevelopment possibilities.

With a shift in ownership to an undisclosed buyer from the Middle East, the station’s future is once again up for discussion. The new owners have not disclosed their plans for the site but permission has recently been given for taller buildings nearby, so they may intend to follow suit, giving the local council some leverage for making demands about developing the station.

The current tower, a 19-storey structure established in 1966 as the headquarters of the British Standards Institution, was refurbished in 1995. Purchased by Hermes for £56.5 million in March 2013, Chiswick Tower was part of a trio of ‘landmark’ buildings offered for sale earlier this year, including Hammersmith Grove and Wimbledon Bridge House. As yet only Chiswick Tower has changed hands, but specifics about the buyer and sale price have been witheld.

The proposal to utilise the Chiswick Tower site for expanding Gunnersbury Station’s capacity has long been on the table. With growing demand from nearby developments such as Chiswick Business Park and Brentford Community Stadium, the station faces increasing congestion. On match days residents cannon get down to the platform to catch a train because of the incoming flow of supporters.

Recently approved construction projects in Brentford designate Gunnersbury as the closest tube station, which will only add to the urgency for an upgrade.

The redevelopment potential of Chiswick Tower’s site, including its 190-space car park, holds the possibility of an additional station entrance and comprehensive improvements to access, which are likely to be needed for the expected increase in volume of commuters.