LONDON-Following a 15-month attempt, JP Morgan has decided to drop plans to build a large office tower on the site of the City of London Corp.-owned St. Alphage House with local real estate developer Hammerson, and instead has hired Canary Wharf Group to build a more-than-one-million-sf building at Canary Riverside South in the city’s financial district. The chief reason for the change, spokespeople for JP Morgan and Hammerson say, is that the previous site could not handle one million sf of new construction.

The financial firm’s spokeswoman says she can’t comment on how much it will cost to build the facility. “The great benefit is that we’re still able to occupy by early 2013, the same time we had planned when talking with Hammerson,” she tells

She says there were a variety of factors that led to the location switch, but that primarily it was that there were too many hoops to jump through when it was decided that the building needed to be more than one million sf. The company acquired Bear Stearns soon after the Hammerson contract started, and that transaction necessitated more room at the new office than previously thought, she says. Also, the city and local groups created roadblocks to building such a large building, she says. The new location will fit the space needs, the spokeswoman says.

The St. Alphage House location is still a great site for a new building, says a spokesman for Hammerson. “It can take a fair slug of space, there’s no problems with that site,” he tells The company plans to formalize another venture for the property, he says. His firm is taking a $17 million hit in costs from the JP Morgan negotiations, according to a Hammerson statement.