(Bloomberg) -- The Reuben Brothers have agreed to buy Admiralty Arch, the historic building on London’s Trafalgar Square that’s being transformed into a luxury hotel, apartments and private members club.
Billionaires Simon and David Reuben’s investment company is buying the project from Rafael Serrano Quevedo’s Prime Investors Capital, according to an emailed statement. The Spanish developer was selected by the UK government as the preferred bidder for the building in 2012, acquiring a 250-year lease for £60 million ($73.8 million).
The complex project, which involves the careful restoration of the historic property and extensive excavations under the Mall, has been beset by delays. The government eventually handed over the keys in 2015 after Prime Investors Capital met a series of conditions including securing investment funding and planning permission, with work getting under way in 2017.
In 2019, the company sought new financing for the project and said it was on track for completion in 2021, Bloomberg News reported at the time. A Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. press release announcing that the hotel would be operated under the Waldorf Astoria brand put the completion date at 2022. That’s since been revised to 2024.
The Reuben Brothers stepped in to provide new financing in 2020 and later refinanced that loan in 2021, Sky News reported. The brothers now plan to complete the construction works on the 200,000 square-foot project.
The Admiralty Arch was commissioned in memory of Queen Victoria and completed in 1912. It was used by the Navy and Ministry of Defence until 1994.
The Conservative-led government announced plans to sell a raft of state-owned property when it was elected in 2010 as part of its planned austerity drive to reduce Britain’s debt after the financial crisis. Admiralty Arch was the first high profile deal agreed as part of the plan.
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