It’s the end of an era for London’s miserably oppressive US embassy.
According to The Guardian, the Qatari royal family’s property company, Qatari Diar, has been given the go-ahead to turn the building into a luxury hotel.
The Grade II-listed building, in Mayfair’s very up-market Grosvenor Square, has nine floors, three of which are underground, and will house up to 137 hotel rooms, plus shops, restaurants and bars. Before it was made a listed building — which would have lowered its worth due to development restrictions — the embassy was reportedly valued at £500 million ($621 million).
Grosvenor Square has been home to the US embassy since 1938, and it moved to its current building, which is topped by a gilded bald eagle, in 1960. Its new digs, near south London’s Battersea power station, will open next spring.
Truly a sad day for all the poor souls who’ve spent hours in the building in search of visas. [The Guardian]