The Caterer

Hoteliers offered the chance to buy historic building in City of London

29 June 2009 by
Hoteliers offered the chance to buy historic building in City of London

Hotel operators are being offered the chance to take on a landmark City building adjacent to the Bank of England after the property was put on the market.

The former Midland Bank headquarters, located at 27-35 Poultry and 5 Princes Street, features a vault that was used as Fort Knox in the 1964 Bond film Goldfinger.

Vladimir Chernukhin, former finance minister of Russia, paid property magnate Paul Kemsley - the Apprentice interviewer and former Tottenham Hotspur vice-chairman - a reported £72m for the building in September 2006.

Planning permission was received on November 2008 to convert the 291,573 sq ft property into a luxury hotel.

It has permission for 181 bedrooms, bars, restaurants, health clubs, private members' club and roof garden, protecting the Portland stone façade and interior features including Lutyens' banking hall which is decorated with marble Corinthian columns.

But Chernukhin's company, Poultry Developments Limited, was put into administration in February after defaulting on a £55m loan with Credit Suisse. Grant Thornton, the administrator, has now appointed property agent Knight Frank to sell the property.

Dominic Mayes, head of hotels at Knight Frank, said: "This building is steeped in history and it will be fascinating to see its future development.

"The property presents a unique opportunity for an investor to create a landmark hotel in a prime central London location, but would equally suit alternative uses. The location and nature of the building is truly outstanding."

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By Gemma Sharkey

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