Firmdale to develop £90m hotel in Soho

21 September 2009 by
Firmdale to develop £90m hotel in Soho

Boutique hotel operator Firmdale Hotels is to turn an undeveloped site in Soho that was bombed during the Blitz into a luxury £90m hotel.

Firmdale, which is owned by husband and wife team Tim and Kit Kemp, have acquired Ham Yard site, a three-quarters-of-an acre freehold site just off Regent Street for £30m, according to The Times.

It plans to spend up to £60m building a 100-room hotel plus 50,000 sq ft of housing, a third of it affordable accommodation.

The couple, who are about to open Firmdale's first property in New York, the Crosby hotel, are planning to fund the Ham Yard project by raising £56m from a sale and leaseback of two of their six London hotels, the Knightsbridge hotel and Number 16 in Kensington.

Kemp said that the new hotel would become the group's flagship, adding that it would be "slightly different in style" to the group's nearby Soho Hotel.

He said: "They shouldn't compete. It will be more luxurious and have more facilities."

Subject to planning approval, work on the Ham Yard site is expected to start next year.

The Crosby Street hotel, in the SoHo district of New York, opens next week after completion of an $80 million (£49 million) project. The 86-room property has a garden, gym, bar and restaurant.

Rising costs slash profits at Firmdale Hotels by 64% >>

Firmdale eyes up Mayfair for next hotel location >>

Tim and Kit Kemp on their seventh property the Haymarket Hotel >>

By Gemma Sharkey

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