Buried in amongst the record returns and profits, the Crown Estate’s annual report – released last week – also confirmed the sale of one of London’s great townhouses.
Lording it over the Mall, Carlton House Terrace was built in 1827-33 as part of John Nash’s Roman-inspired “Via Trimphalis” route from St James’s to Regent’s Park – for many, the single most successful town planning scheme of all time.
Described by Pevsner in his volume for Westminster as “the greatest terraced houses ever built in Britain”, these vast mansions provided the grandest of addresses for London’s noblefolk up until the first part of the 20th century, when the Second World War prompted a raft of conversions into offices and headquarters.
It’s taken a while, but the wealthiest of UHNWIs are now begin to realise that these places remain peerless in terms of location and volume – the Hinduja brothers have led the way with their extraordinary amalgamation project at Nos. 13-16, creating a single residence worth an estimated £250m, and now it’s the turn of No.1 to return to original trophy home use.
Having housed notable former residents including the Marquess of Abercorn, The Right Honourable Henry Chaplin and Lord Curzon of Kedleston, the Grade I listed mansion at the Buckingham Palace end suffered some heavy bomb damage during WWII, but was partially restored and went on to become the base of the Savage Club, before the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining moved in during the 1970s.
After 42 years in situ, the Institute gladly took up the chance to move into something more modern, so after buying in the head lease for £15m and bagging the green light from Westminster for a resi conversion, the Crown Estate slipped the five-storey behemoth onto the grey market last year via Aylesford, asking a rumoured £55m for a new 125 year lease.
While the final selling price remains undisclosed, the Estate has now confirmed completing the sale, so how will the new owner go about recreating Nash’s original vision with a 21st century twist?
As a top-line, the Paul Davis & Partners plans provide for a single residence of over 26,000 square feet, incorporating the original sweeping staircase, seven reception rooms, five bedrooms, staff accommodation, a leisure complex with pool, steam room and sauna, a cinema, wine cellar, parking, sun room and a glorious terrace overlooking St James’s Park; judging from the CGIs below, the end result will likely prompt some heavyweight enquiries about other opportunities in this grandest of addresses…
Images courtesy of Rockhunter