Local authorities in London have approved Qatari Diar’s plans to convert the former US embassy building in Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square into a luxury hotel.
The firm, the property development arm of sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority, bought the listed building in 2009. Later on this year, America will move its diplomatic presence from the site to Vauxhall.
The plans approved by Westminster Council, will see two new floors added to the listed building, with floor space nearly doubling to 45,000 square metres.
Permission was granted despite opposition from a lobby group that had claimed that harm caused by the design of one of the additional floors would be substantial.
“A hotel of this calibre perfectly aligns with the vision and ambitions for the neighbourhood and will help to ensure Mayfair retains its pre-eminent reputation as an outstanding place to live, visit and work,” said Qatari Diar UK chairman and CEO Sheikh Jassim Al Thani, in a statement.
“Qatari Diar takes its responsibility to the local community extremely seriously and we will continue to engage with all stakeholders and interested parties moving forward. We plan to begin work on site once the US Embassy moves to its new home at Nine Elms.”
Earlier this year, Qatari Diar announced a $2 billion deal to create a home-rental business in London, making it one of the UK capital’s largest landlords.