Rare Portland Place mansion goes to best bids

Overseas buyer snaffles grand Grade II* townhouse on one of the capital’s most famous thoroughfares.

A  Georgian townhouse on one of London’s best-known addresses has been sold to to an overseas buyer after sparking competitive interest.

Dating back to the 1780s, the Grade II* mid-terrace on Marylebone’s Portland Place was being offered on a guide of £14m and ended up going to best bids earlier this month.

The near-9,500 square foot pile, which was being sold on the instructions of the fixed charge receivers, once served as a base for the Young Women’s Christian Association.

Particulars flagged the “exceptionally wide” eight-metre façade and voluminous internal proportions, with high ceilings and 18th century period features including decorative plasterwork and intricate mouldings in the main receptions.

Planning consent was granted in 2018 to return the handsome affair back into its original guise as a single family dwelling, allowing for alterations including the demolition of a rear extension at ground level to create a new courtyard, and excavations under the pavement vaults.

Marc Schneiderman of boutique agency Arlington Residential, who did the deal, told PrimeResi: “There was so much interest in the townhouse because of its rarity, it went to best bids on the basis that a non-refundable deposit was paid immediately upon acceptance of the buyer’s offer.

“A password protected online Dataroom was available with all the information a buyer could need, such as planning history, searches, copies of leases, to ensure a swift exchange of contracts.”

He added: “There are no more than half a dozen single family homes on the street. Many of the houses are now occupied by company headquarters, professional bodies, embassies and charities including the landmark headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Chinese embassy; Polish Embassy, Portuguese Consulate, the High Commission of Kenya, the Swedish Ambassador’s Residence and the Colombian Consulate.

“Portland Place is a highly prestigious address in Prime Central London with some very exclusive blocks of mansion flats. On this occasion the successful overseas buyer already has a base in London and wanted a standout trophy house and 44 Portland Place fitted the brief.”

Portland Place itself was originally laid out by Robert and James Adam for the Duke of Portland in the 1770s, and drew widespread praise at the time for its unprecedented scale and vision.

One of the largest and most recognisable properties on the street – No.33 – was recently lined up for a spectacular ultra-prime transformation after changing hands at £27m in 2015. The near-20,000 square foot masterpiece provided the backdrop to the Oscar-winning film The King’s Speech, and Amy Winehouse’s Rehab video, and previously housed the High Commission of Sierra Leone.