Lodha Group, a real estate developer, has signed contracts to buy the landmark MacDonald House in central London from the Canadian government for Rs. 3,120 crore (306 million pounds).
“The Canadian Embassy had put the property on the block for a few months and it is a high-end development,” Abhinandan Lodha, Deputy Managing Director, Lodha Group, said while addressing a press conference here on Friday.
The property has a total area of 1.65 lakh square feet, and is built on a land area covering 0.67 acre. Located in the heart of Mayfair in London on the corner of Grosvenor Square, it is close to Bond Street and Mount Street. The building first served as the High Commission for the U.S. and subsequently as the High Commission for Canada.
The London office of Knight Frank advised Lodha Group on the buy.
“1 Grosvenor Square is the best address in the world, and we will create a world class development which befits the status of this address,” Mr. Lodha said, adding that the deal will be funded by internal accruals. Payment will be in tranches, to be completed by March 2014, although he pointed out that he was confident it would be completed earlier.
Mr. Lodha said that while there was no need for a financial partnership, the company was open for a design partnership for the property.
Mr. Lodha said that London and the U.K. market offered opportunities “for a high quality developer focused on creating a large scale housing development business there.”
Two main markets
“We plan to focus on Mumbai and London as our two main markets and serve London in the same manner that we serve Mumbai – with world class products to serve all key market segments,” Mr. Lodha said.
In December 2012, the Lodha Group had bought Washington House, which housed the U.S. Consulate in South Mumbai, for more than Rs. 300 crore. It had also acquired 17 acres of the Mumbai Textile Mills land parcel from DLF for around Rs. 2,700 crore.
Source: Economic Times