The redevelopment of the Grade-II-listed former Bow Street Magistrates Court in Covent Garden, London, as a luxury, boutique hotel will go ahead after being sold to the UK arm of a Doha-based investment company.
Renowned for holding such high-profile cases as those featuring Oscar Wilde, Lord Archer and the notorious Kray twins before closing as a court in 2006, the property was originally going to be converted into a 100-bedroom hotel by Austrian hoteliers, Rudolf and Christian Ploberger. The brothers originally received planning permission to convert the building to a hotel in 2013, but last year decided to sell, with a price tag of £75m.
The new owners BTC UK, which owns the Soho Coffee Company, Apostrophe cafés and Euphorium Bakery, said that the cost of buying and developing the property as a hotel will be £125m.
Mehdi Ghalaie, managing director at BTC UK, described the former court building as "an iconic part of London's heritage" and is "delighted" to be bringing it back into public use.
"After many years under different owners, our focus is now on delivering a world class boutique hotel that befits the history of this landmark building.
"We will be engaging with English Heritage, Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police in our planning process to maintain the building's illustrious legal heritage and history and to ensure that the traditions and spirit of Bow Street are preserved."
Michael Elliott acted for BTC UK and Gerard Nolan & Partners co-invested and acted for Rudolf and Christian Ploberger.
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