Global investment company the Hinduja Group is set to convert the Old War Office in Whitehall into a five-star hotel, after completing its £350m purchase of the heritage building from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) this week.
The group, in joint venture with Spanish developer OHL Desarrollos, plans to transform the Grade II listed building of 580,000sq ft into a hotel with luxury apartments, private function areas and spa and fitness facilities. Built in 1906, the property has been acquired on a 250-year lease. Its sales was first reported last summer.
OHL Desarrollos has a track record in converting historic buildings. It is currently leading the £500m redevelopment of Madrid's Puerta del Sol area, including the Canalejas heritage site, which will include the first Four Seasons hotel in Spain.
Prakash Hinduja, chairman (Europe) of Hinduja Group pledged a sensitive transformation of the 1,000 room building into a luxury hotel. He said: "We have a new vision for the Old War Office. We are delighted with the unique opportunity we have been given to become the new custodians of this famous Whitehall building.
"Working in close collaboration with key partners including the Ministry of Defence, Westminster City Council, Historic England and the Prince's Regeneration Trust we will work meticulously to restore the distinctive and historic fabric of the building, and convert it into a distinguished hotel and luxury residences, bringing a further dimension to this prominent Whitehall landmark."
Juan-Miguel Villar-Mir, chairman of OHL said the group was proud to work with Hinduja Group on such an historic project, adding: "The development of the Old War Office is the perfect project fit for OHL Desarrollos, having recently worked on successfully developing the heritage site at Canalejas, in Madrid, as a world-class residential, hotel and commercial destination."
The sale of the property is part of the MoD's wider strategy to rationalise its defence estate.
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