An Indian property developer has bought a major building on the Strand in London for more than £90m with the intention of creating a luxury 200-bedroom hotel.
Currently let as offices to Westminster City Council and and retail space to Boots, 5 Strand has been sold by BlackRock UK Property Fund to ABIL Group. The property was marketed with plans designed by Adjaye Associates for the hotel along with planning consent for new offices, retail space and luxury residential accommodation.
It is the first purchase in the UK for ABIL Group, which has developed a number of luxury hotels operating under Marriott brands in India including the St Regis Mumbai, W Goa, the Westin Pune and Le Meridien Nagpur.
Based in Pune, ABIL Group was founded by Avinash Bhosale in 1979. In 2001 the company entered the hospitality sector through a joint venture with Mumbai's Sun-n-Sand chain of hotels.
Gary Witham, director in the hotels team at Savills, which acted on behalf of ABIL Group, said: "The London hotel market continues to attract a wide range of overseas investors with the city providing attractive long-term income prospects.
"As the first purchase for our client, 5 Strand makes an excellent choice providing the opportunity to create a leading purpose-built hotel in a tourist location that is recognisable to a global audience."
Cushman & Wakefield, together with Tudor Toone, advised BlackRock on the sale.