A third InterContinental hotel is to be developed in London, as part of a major regeneration programme of the Greenwich Peninsula.
The 19-storey, 452-bedroom, five star hotel will be known as the InterContinental London The O2 and will be operated by Arora Hotels.
Due to open in summer 2015, it will incorporate 4,800 square metres of conference and events space, which will include Europe's largest pillar-free ballroom. Key facilities will include a panoramic Sky Bar, several restaurants and a spa.
Funded by the Queensgate Investment Fund, the £121m project will also include the 23-storey Peninsula Tower offering 100 serviced apartments. It is part of the wider redevelopment of the Greenwich Peninsular, which, when complete, will provide 190 acres of new business, leisure and living space with over 10,000 new homes.
Surinder Arora (pictured), founder and chief executive of Arora Hotels, said he was delighted to be involved in such a high profile scheme, which - with its location next to the O2 - will provide extensive marketing and events opportunities.
"Working alongside excellent partners, this development will add high quality accommodation and conference inventory to a vibrant part of London which has recently been exposed to the world stage with the summer 2012 London Olympics.
"The hotel's 3,000 square metres open plan ballroom - the largest in Europe - with pre-function space enjoying panoramic views of the Thames and Canary Wharf, will complement the O2 and soon become established as one of the world's pre-eminent venues, enabling the UK to compete with other destinations to attract conferences, meetings and events to our shores and to this increasingly strategically important part of London".
Grove Developments, a company formed by Arora to design, build and project manage hotel developments, will oversee the project, which is to be built by Balfour Beatty. It was previously involved in developing the 605 bedroom-Sofitel London Heathrow at Terminal 5, which is also operated by Arora.
Robert Shepherd, chief development officer for the InterContinental Hotels Group (Europe), said: "We look forward to InterContinental London The O2 sharing in the future success of its sister hotels, including the recently opened InterContinental London Westminster."
Construction of the property will take only two years as the result of using innovative building techniques, which will include the installation of modular bathrooms constructed off-site.
Built on land reclaimed from previously polluted soil, the hotel will employ the latest sustainable features such as "green" roofs and surrounds which will harvest water to reduce demand on the mains supply.
Photographed breaking ground on the hotel and apartment developing are, from left to right:Mike Dooling (RKTL), Matt Luscombe(IHG), Nick Raynsford MP, Mike Peasland (Mansell Balfour Beatty), Cllr Chris Roberts(Greenwich Borough Council), Surinder Arora (Grove Developments), Alistair Wood (AEG, operator of the O2), Jason Kow (Queensgate Investments).