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London: Qatari Diar to convert the American Embassy into a hotel

The building's owner, a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority, has received official authorization from Westminster Council to transform the American diplomatic offices in Grosvenor Square into a luxury hotel. The conversion project will begin next year.

The US State Department sold the building to the Qatari Diar Real Estate Company in 2013 in order to fund the construction of the new United States Embassy near Battersea, in South London as part of the Nine Elms Regeneration Project South of the Thames. The American Diplomatic staff of 1,000 should move into their new quarters at the beginning of 2017, before works get underway at the current embassy. The entire Grosvenor Square site, in the upscale neighborhood of Mayfair, will undergo transformation for 1 billion pounds in the years to come.

The nine-floor building (including three sub-level), Grade II Classified Monuments, will soon be home to a 137-room hotel. The property will have several commercial spaces as well as bars and restaurants, as well as a ballroom able to host up to one thousand guests. The hotel will have an indisputable historic aura; Grosvenor Square was the headquarters of Dwight D. Eisenhower during the Second World War. The British architect Sir David Chipperfield, who is committed to preserving “the spirit of the original building," is behind the origin of the concept presented to authorities.

Launched in 2005 by Qatar Investment Authority, Qatari Diar, the Qatari sovereign fund, currently has fifty or so projects under development in Qatar and in 29 other. This division is particularly active on London’s market: its properties include Chelsea Barracks, several sites in the former Olympic Village, as well as many developments in the Canary Wharf business district.

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