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News Archive - September 2013
New life for Admiralty Arch
Admiralty Arch is to be restored to its former glory and opened up to the public after developers got the green light to transform the site into a luxury hotel.
Westminster City Council granted planning permission to Prime Investors Capital (PIC) to renovate the former office space into a five star hotel, residences and private members’ club.
Originally designed as a ceremonial passage from Trafalgar Square towards Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch housed offices and residences for the Sea Lords of the Admiralty and was used by the Navy and the Ministry of Defence until 1994. The plans put forward by PIC will see the Grade-1 listed building sensitively renovated in keeping with architect Sir Aston Webb’s original drawings from around 1910 with many lost designs restored.
The team of experts working on the project includes architect Michael Blair, of Blair Associates Architecture, responsible for the restoration of Claridge’s, The Connaught and The Ritz, English Heritage expert Dr Christopher Miele, whose portfolio includes Westminster Abbey, The V&A, The British Museum and The Ritz, and construction partner Sir Robert McAlpine.
The 99 year lease agreement signed between HM Government and PIC in October 2012 will raise an additional £60m from the sale of Admiralty Arch’s leasehold.
The redevelopment is part of the wider Cabinet Office strategy to operate a more efficient government estate which has already seen it shrink by 16 per cent since 2010 and raise more than £1bn for the taxpayer by selling buildings and land no longer needed.
Construction will start in early 2014 and the hotel is expected to open in 2016.
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