It sounds like the project is still on track but sensitive builds like this can sometimes take longer and cost more than originally expected.
The owner of London’s Admiralty Arch has hired advisers to secure new financing for the project to transform the historic building into a luxury Waldorf Astoria hotel, according to people with knowledge of the plan.
Prime Investors Capital has appointed broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. to source new finance for the 500 million-pound ($634 million) development, which is scheduled to finish in 2021, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. The Admiralty Arch was commissioned in memory of Queen Victoria, and was used by the Navy and the Ministry of Defense until 1994.
The long-running Admiralty Arch project is among the most sensitive in London, because it involves a historic building on Trafalgar Square with a direct view of Buckingham Palace. The government announced it had sold a long lease on the building in 2012 as part of a push to raise funds from underused properties. It handed over the keys in 2015 after Prime Investors Capital met a series of conditions including securing investment funding and planning permission.
“The restoration of Admiralty Arch remains on track for completion and for the hotel opening in 2021,” according to an emailed statement Tuesday from Prime Investors Capital. “We are incredibly proud of the exceptional architects, designers, artisans and construction team whose skills will transform this much loved national monument into a world-class hotel, private members’ club and exclusive serviced apartments.”
About 11,600 new hotel rooms are set to be developed in London by 2020, adding about 8% to the city’s total, according a report by JLL and London & Partners. The city has seen a surge in tourism, driven in part by the decline in the value of the pound since the 2016 Brexit referendum.
The Admiralty Arch Waldorf Astoria is planned to be a 96-room, five-star hotel, according to its website. Prime Investors Capital, founded by Rafael Serrano, also owns the Bvlgari Hotel and Residences in London’s Knightsbridge district.
Representatives of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc., which owns the Waldorf Astoria brand, and JLL declined to comment.
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Photo credit: Admiralty Arch in London. The current owner is reportedly looking for new financing. Peter Macdiarmid / Getty Images