Qatari Diar Real Estate Company has been given the go ahead to convert the US embassy in London into a luxury hotel.
The plans were green lit by Westminster Council that will see the creation of a hotel in the Grade II-listed building in Grosvenor Square. The nine-floor building will see will see two new floors added and floor space nearly double to 45,000sq m.
The 137-room luxury hotel will also feature leisure, retail, restaurant and bar facilities.
The project was backed despite opposition that claimed the building could become badly damaged by the extra weight of the additional floors.
The decision to sell the embassy building was taken by the US State Department in 2009 in order to finance a move to a new embassy in the Nine Elms regeneration project south of the Thames.
Due to delays in the construction of the new embassy, Qatari Diar may be forced to wait longer than the expected handover date of February 2017.
In a statement Qatari Diar UK chairman and CEO Sheikh Jassim Al Thani said: “A hotel of this calibre perfectly aligns with the vision and ambitions for the neighbourhood and will help to ensure Mayfair retains its pre-eminent reputation as an outstanding place to live, visit and work.
“Qatari Diar takes its responsibility to the local community extremely seriously and we will continue to engage with all stakeholders and interested parties moving forward. We plan to begin work on site once the US Embassy moves to its new home at Nine Elms.”
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