London Property News

American Embassy Sale, London W1

Author: Callum Roberts Monday, 6 October 2008

It was confirmed that The American Embassy, London W1 was put up for sale last week.

Set in the heart of Mayfair, which is one of London's most prestigious areas and situated on Grosvenor Square, the Embassy and its iconic 1960's built building has towered over the area that was once known as 'Little America' for longer than most people care to remember.

The building which is currently heavily fortified, measures approximately 225,000 sq ft and has over 600 rooms with over 900 people working from it.

One of approximately 21 U.S. Embassy's around the world to be sold off by the Americans, the London Embassy is probably one of the most high profile sites that are for the chop in search of more secure and modern buildings.

Dillon Callum was asked by ITN news for their 'London Tonight' programme which was aired on Thursday 2nd October 2008, what he thought the building would sell for in the current market conditions.

£300,000,000 was his answer, even in today's market, which has seen property prices in London fall for the first time since the 'Credit Crunch' began.

With large new sites becoming increasingly hard to come by in central London, Dillon feels that this figure is really just a 'ballpark starting figure' and the Embassy may well fetch well in excess of this should a 'bidding war' commence with a developer who wishes to raise the ante from the current 'hot property', Candy & Candys' flagship 1 Hyde Park development, which is located only a few minutes down the road from Grosvernor Square.

The Americans have been associated with Grovsveror Sqaure since the late eighteenth century, when John Adams (later to become the President of the United States) lived in the square from 1785 to 1788. The house in which he lived still stands in the square on the corner of Brook Street and Duke Street.

As English Heritage would like the Embassy Building which was designed by Eero Saarinen to become 'Listed', the final selling price of the building may well come down to how successful the Americans are in fighting this plan.

The site could be turned into an exciting luxury residential complex or a five star plus luxury hotel.

One thing is for sure and that is local residents will not be sorry to see the Embassy go.

Maybe, for once, when the locals see the Embassy staff move out and us Estate agents move in for the re-sales, we will have people welcoming us agents with open arms!

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