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18 APRIL 2016

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Article from BTNews 18 APRIL 2016

Hotel plan for embassy

Plans are in hand for the US embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square to become a 137-room luxury hotel with facilities including a spa and 1,000-capacity ballroom.

It is understood the redevelopment of the nine-storey Grade II-listed structure, also known as the Chancery Building, will preserve the trademark façade and incorporate the 11m gilded aluminium eagle hovering above the main entrance.

The plans are being submitted to Westminster council next month. The development would also include shops and restaurants.

The embassy is being closed next year, when staff move to a new site in Nine Elms.

The company behind the hotel plan is Qatari Diar, a subsidiary of the Qatar Investment Authority. Officials say the rows of barriers erected in front of the embassy after the 9/11 attacks will be taken down to restore Grosvenor Square to its former status as an “open, expansive green space for residents and visitors to enjoy”.

Qatari Diar chief development officer Jerry Holmes added: “We take our responsibility to the local community very seriously.”  www.qataridiar.com

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