The owners ran into a financial pickle, so one of London's most recognizable office buildings is up for sale at a cool $1.1 billion. The Norman Foster-designed tower, nicknamed The Gherkin for its distinctive pickled cucumber shape, was put into bankruptcy protection last year. Deloitte Real Estate and Savills expect interest in the 40-story building in the City -- London's financial district -- to come from all over the globe. The Guardian newspaper said the agents are hoping for offers in the range of 600,000 to 650,000 pounds. The office tower at 30 St. Mary Axe is co-owned by Germany's IVG Immobilien AG, which went into bankruptcy protection last year, and a London-based investment bank. The building opened in 2004 and currently has 20 tenants, including Swiss Re, Kirkland & Ellis International LLP and ION Trading. Built on the site of the Baltic Exchange shipping market, which was badly damaged by an Irish terrorist bomb in 1992, the Gherkin has become a London landmark, featuring in TV shows and movies, including Sharon Stone's Basic Instinct 2.
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- The Associated Press