The government has leased London’s Admiralty Arch to Prime Investors Capital (PIC) for 99 years, with plans to convert the landmark into a luxury hotel already under way.

According to a Cabinet Office statement, the deal will raise £60 million for taxpayers and make possible a restoration project that will see many original design features recovered. This will be the first time the general public will have access to the property, previously reserved for government use.

Located between Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace, Admiralty Arch is a Grade I Listed building designed by Sir Aston Webb and constructed by John Mowlem and Co in 1912. The building was commissioned by King Edward VII in memory of his mother, Queen Victoria, although he did not live to see its completion.

Plans for the 100-room hotel include royal and presidential suites, a ballroom, spa and fine dining restaurant, but are subject to planning permission from Westminster City Council. There is no scheduled opening date at this time.

Rafael Serrano, chief executive of Prime Investors Capital, said: “We will be working with H M Government, Westminster City Council, English Heritage, the Royal Parks and local stakeholders during the planning process. We will deliver the very finest hotel for London, with an unrivalled history and location.”

Serrano recently oversaw the opening of the Bulgari Hotel and Residences in Knightsbridge (see online news May 29) and has hired architect Michael Blair, of Blair Associates Architecture, for the restoration. Blair’s previous work includes the restoration of Claridge’s, the Connaught and the Ritz hotels.

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Report by Scott Carey