Russian billionaires, and their numbers are increasing, get attracted to luxury real estate easily. Roman Abramovich has been the most high profile amongst them. In fact he can be given the credit for triggering this trend. He has invested heavily in London real estate. But the latest news is that he has put his London mansion on the market for a staggering £70 million. Located in Lowndes Square, the Russian oligarch had spent a decade in acquiring nine flats across two buildings with a plan to turn the entire property into the finest home in London. But after the planning permission expired he seems to have dropped the idea. The renovation project is incomplete and the buyer would need an additional £15 to complete the renovation. However, if the plans are completed it will undoubtedly be one of UK’s finest and largest homes.
A 30,000sq ft Palace on Lowndes Square
The two properties were split into nine independent flats and it was in 1998 that Abramovich first bought a maisonette within the building. Even then he had a vision for the building and over the next few years he diligently pursued the owners to buy up all the flats in the buildings on Lowndes Square. He reportedly spent £35 million in acquiring the entire property. His vision was to convert the place into a fine 30,000 sq ft palace. He then bought the freehold for the Belgravia buildings for just £1.8million. According to his renovation plans only the classic 19th century stucco front was to be retained and the entire interior was to be remodeled to create an eight-bedroom mansion spread over five storeys above ground and three basement levels. The high end features and amenities planned for the mansion included a cinema/entertainment room, an indoor pool, steam room and sauna, as well as a children’s study and entertainment room.
A Gamble that could Pay Off Big Time
It is big news and a major development for the luxury real estate industry in London. Knightsbridge-based Iles Property is understood to be marketing the incomplete mansion for the Russian Billionaire who is worth over $9 billion. However the agency dealing in luxury real estate refused to confirm or deny the development. According to insiders and industry experts the property had planning permission in place to knock down the internal part of the building, keeping the facade and carry out extensive work on it, fitting an indoor swimming pool and leisure facilities. Reliable sources confirm that the planning permission has now lapsed and they can’t possibly be extended because of changes in government policy. Lowndes Square is one of London’s best addresses and if the project is completed it would turn the house into one of London’s largest homes. But anyone thinking of pursuing the project further will have to spend up to £1,000 per sq ft fixing up the property as per the grand plans. In absolute terms it would mean an additional investment of about£15m – £16m as a minimum, but this could increase marginally. At the same time the experts feel that the mansion built as per plan would become a property worth £125 million as it occupies one of the most prestigious addresses in London. If you have the money and you like gambling take a shot.