Billionaire banking tycoon Mikhail Fridman has been granted planning permission to convert a derelict house into one of London’s grandest homes.
Earlier this year the self-made businessman bought Athlone House in Hampstead Heath for the tidy sum of £65 million from its Kuwaiti owners. The previous owners wanted to demolish the historic British building and replace it with a huge new-build mansion, which led to 5,000 local residents in upmarket Hampstead opposing the plans.
The refurbished mega mansion will arguably be the most impressive residence in London, including the obligatory oligarch perks such as an entire room dedicated to cigars and a massive underground swimming pool. Once finished, the land and building will be worth an estimated £130 million.
51-year-old Fridman started in business at the bottom by washing windows in the 1980s, but later founded Alfa Group which is now the biggest financial investment group in Russia. Today his net worth is £10.3 Billion according to Forbes, nearly double that of Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
He recently claimed that despite his enormous wealth he would be cutting out all 4 children from his will, deciding instead to donate his entire estate to charity.
Fridman said of the purchase, “I like the area because of its view and proximity to central London”. We at DMZ find it interesting that foreign investment in potentially high-risk projects keeps flowing in to post-Brexit London.
It seems like London real estate is becoming further insulated from the rest of the UK: where else would buying a 5 bedroom dilapidated house for £65 million be normal? New York’s most expensive residential real estate to date is a six-bedroom apartment in the One57 luxury development, which sold last year for £75 million.