Knightsbridge townhouse for sale for sum 11% lower than it sold for in 2011; it comes with a rather large hole in the garden that has been described as “almost as deep as the Führerbunker”
To the poet and wit Henry Luttrell (1765 – 1861) “eating pâté de foie gras to the sound of trumpets” was his idea of heaven. Now, a very wealthy buyer has the opportunity to acquire what some might consider the very opposite of such with the sale of his former home – complete with a 4-storey hole in its garden – in Knightsbridge.
Empty for many years and the subject of numerous critical articles about its dereliction in such titles as the Mirror and Daily Mail, Grade II listed 31 Brompton Square is on the market for £3 million less than it sold for in 2011. It was previously reportedly owned by the industrialist Lord Tanlaw and was also in the possession of the High Commission of Malaysia at some point.
Aside from being home to the philanthropist sisters Dora and Mary de Beer (owners of the house between 1934 and 1981) and the Conservative Party politician the Hon. Michael Astor in addition, most controversially the property was bought by the now jailed businessman Achilleas Kallakis in the mid 2000s.
Kallakis – who in spite of demanding he be called ‘His Excellency’ and ‘The Don’ was actually simply “Britain’s biggest mortgage fraudster” – began work on a scheme to create what he termed a “pleasure palace” at 31 Brompton Square in 2005. He employed contractors to dig four levels down beneath what had been a pretty garden and commenced both authorised and unauthorised works to create what could still ultimately become a 22,000 square foot, 8-floor “trophy home.”
Construction stopped in 2008 after Kallakis’ arrest and in 2011, 31 Brompton Square was sold for £8 million more than sought to a Virgin Islands based company by receivers acting for Barclays Wealth. Said by locals to actually be owned at that time by a Dubai based businessman named Jonathan Hart, further planning schemes were submitted in October 2016 and now agents Savills seek £25 million for the unfinished building.
Of the sale, one near neighbour told The Steeple Times:
“This bastard of a basement has blighted this area of Knightsbridge for far too long.”
“We have feared subsidence might cause the hole to cave in since 2005 and now hope a new owner will rectify the mess left by the conman Kallakis. We simply want to be able to live out our years in peace and would like a nice, quiet family rather than a brash billionaire be the purchasers.”
31 Brompton Square – The Numbers
September 2017 – For sale for £25 million ($33.9 million, €28.4 million or درهم125 million).
June 2016 – Predicted to be worth £50 million ($67.8 million, €56.9 million or درهم249 million) if iceberg extension were to be completed.
March 2011 – Sold for £28 million ($38 million, €31.9 million or درهم139.5 million) after a bidding war on an asking price of £20 million ($27.1 million, €22.7 million or درهم99.6 million).