The billionaire Reuben brothers are to turn a former private members club in Piccadilly into one of London’s grandest hotels after winning planning permission.
David and Simon Reuben spent about £130 million buying 94 Piccadilly, which previously housed the In & Out club, and several adjacent buildings in 2011.
The siblings were given permission to turn the site opposite Green Park into the UK’s most expensive home – a 48-room residence worth a whopping £250 million.
But they then pursued plans to restore the rundown buildings into a five-star hotel featuring a grand ballroom which, at 2,360 sq ft, would be more than double the size of the average home.
There will be a restaurant, bars, a spa, pool and gym, and seven residential apartments, according to the Evening Standard.
The mansion, which is Grade I listed and known as Cambridge House, was built between 1756 and 1764 for the second Earl of Egremont.
It later became the home of Viscount Palmerston, who twice served as Prime Minister and lived there until his death in 1865.
It was then owned until 1998 by the Naval and Military Club, which became known as the In & Out Club after the entrance and exit signs on the mansion’s gateposts. The club is now housed in St James’s Square. Its president is Prince Philip and notable past members include Lawrence of Arabia, Ian Fleming and Rudyard Kipling.
In recent years, 94 Piccadilly has accommodated temporary food and drink outlets.
Under the plans, adjacent unlisted buildings at 42 Half Moon Street, 11 White Horse Street and 12 Shepherd Market will be demolished.
Westminster council’s chairman of planning Richard Beddoe said the historic building will be enjoyed by a new generation of visitors and take its rightful place as a landmark address on Piccadilly.
“Cambridge House is architecturally unique so it’s fantastic that this famous old building will be restored to its former glory,” he added.
Paul Collins, of property agent CBRE, said the decision was as a “tremendous vote of confidence” in London’s hotel market.
“It is exciting that buildings such as the former In & Out club will be converted to hotel use,” he stated.
The Reuben brothers have had enviable success in their property careers. In October, they revealed European Land — their joint venture with property investors the Jarvis family — had managed to sell 45 upmarket flats in Paddington in less than two months.
They have been named Britain’s third richest people with a net worth of £14 billion in 2017, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.
Their investments include a 10.6% stake in luxury hotel company Belmond and a 50:50 joint venture with Park Plaza Hotels to develop an art’otel in Hoxton, London.
Two years ago the brothers secured a £305 million loan on the five-AA-star, 494-bedroom Grosvenor House hotel, alongside a further £304.14 million loan for the Plaza and Dream Downtown hotels in New York.
DealMakerz thinks the hotel development is another sign that London is still being viewed as a property hotspot, despite the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote.
The UK hotel market has seen strong growth recently, with transaction volumes reaching £2.3 billion in the third quarter – up by 195% on the year before.
High profile deals include the sale of the 1,059-room Hilton London Metropole and the long-leasehold interest of the 790-room Hilton Birmingham Metropole to Henderson Park for £500 million.