Admiralty Arch to Be Turned into Five-star Hotel

on Aug 21, 2013
Listen Wednesday, August 21st: A formal approval for the redevelopment of Admiralty Arch was issued yesterday to Prime Investors Capital (PIC) by a four-member committee of the Westminster City Council. The developer plans to turn the iconic building with views of Buckingham Palace into a five-star hotel, apartments and private members’ club.

There was disagreement among the members of the committee over the amount which should be allocated for affordable housing. The council suggested that the £100,000, which PIC had proposed to give for public art, should be added to the affordable housing contribution of £600,000. The Construction News website quoted Labour councillor David Boothroyd, also part of the committee, as saying that two of the committee members supported the council’s suggestion, while the other two supported PIC’s idea of putting statues in two empty plinths on the arch. Finally, the chair’s vote helped the PIC’s initial plan for art contribution win, Boothroyd said.

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The £600,000 contribution for affordable housing was far from the “policy compliant” sum of £1 million, the Financial Times claimed.
Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said in a press release: “The plans approved today will breathe new life into Admiralty Arch, transforming it from unsuitable office space into a publicly accessible landmark that everyone can admire and enjoy.”

!m[London’s Famous Building to Be Redeveloped by PIC](/uploads/story/4991/thumbs/pic1_inline.jpg)
The building had been formerly used as office space by the government. Last year PIC bought a 99-year lease of Admiralty Arch for £60 million, planning to turn the building into a 100-bedroom five-star hotel. The sale is part of a wider strategy of the Cabinet Office, which has already raised more than £1 billion for the taxpayer after selling government estates no longer needed.

The arch, originally designed as a ceremonial passage from Trafalgar Square towards Buckingham Palace, is one the most recognizable buildings in the heart of London. During the renovation the developers will stick to the original drawings of Sir Aston Webb, the architect of the arch, restoring some of the lost designs.
Construction is scheduled to start at the beginning of 2014 and the luxurious hotel is expected to start receiving guests in 2016.


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