U.S. ambassadors will say goodbye to Grosvenor Square and hello to south-west London next year. The intensely fortified U.S. Embassy will endure an unexpected transformation led by developer Qatari Diar. In true Qatari fashion, they are converting the building into, you guessed it, another luxury hotel.
We recently discussed the progression of Mayfair as London’s official “Qatari Quarter,” and the new venture only solidifies this further. The Qatari Diar developers, whom are controlled by the Qatari Investment Authority sovereign wealth fund, have brought on British architect Sir David Chipperfield to realize the project. The redevelopment of the Embassy is already estimated to cost £1 billion ($1,409,265,000) and is poised to boast six high-end shops and five luxury eateries.
These upscale amenities are set to complement a 137-bedroom, five-star hotel equipped with a spa and ballroom for up to an impressive 1,000 guests. After it’s done, you will no longer recognize the address as it once was. Instead of feeling like a guarded fortress, the space will be a welcoming and open green space. This means demolishing the unapproachable rows of barriers put up after the 9/11 attacks in New York.
Jerry Holmes, chief development officer for Qatari Diar says, “We take our responsibility to the local community very seriously and are committed to undertaking an in-depth and thorough engagement with local residents, businesses, amenity societies, heritage bodies, Westminster City Council, and other local stakeholders.”
The U.S. Embassy has occupied the space for decades. Ambassador Matthew Barzun and his team of diplomats will move out of the location to occupy a new home in Nine Elms in 2017.
A public exhibition on the scheme will run from April 11 to April 16 at 24 Grosvenor Hill.