There has been a surge of British property deals by Indian investors. The Lodha Group, India’s largest housing developer, acquired the former Canadian High Commission on Grosvenor Square for £306m. London-based Hinduja Group bought the Old War Office in December 2014 for an undisclosed sum.
Kader is India’s 30th richest man with a net worth of $2.4bn (£1.54bn), according to Forbes. He is looking to capitalise on the London property market through his Abu Dhabi-based Lulu Group – which will take ownership of the site.
“London undoubtedly is one of the most happening locations in the world especially from the tourism point of view,” Kader said. “We have been actively evaluating investment opportunities that both grow our footprint and contribute to the further development of London.”
Great Scotland Yard was the headquarters for the Metropolitan Police between1829 and 1890. It was subsequently used as the headquarters for the British Army Recruitment Office and Royal Military Police. More recently, it was used as the Ministry of Defence Library until 2004.
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Plans for the building will include a £50m refurbishment. The property is to be converted into a luxury hotel by developer Galliard Homes. Galliard bought the lease for the building in 2013 and construction of the site is already 30 per cent complete.
The hotel will become the group’s first UK property and is set to open at the beginning of 2017 – charging up to £10,000 a night. Lulu has contracted Steigenberger Hotel Group to manage the luxury site once it opens.
Galliard was originally in talks to sell the building to the Malmaison Hotel Group.
“The negotiations with Malmaison were almost finalised and legals had been prepared,” said Don O’Sullivan of Galliard. The sale of Malmaison “changed everything and the deal fell through”.
“All that has been retained of the grand original Edwardian Great Scotland Yard building are the outer facades,” said O’Sullivan.
“The entire insides of the building have been ripped out, and Galliard Homes has dug down two levels underground to create a vast basement complex under the building. The building is also being extended to the rear and increased by several floors. This is a huge redevelopment project.”
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