Thursday, December 2, 2021

A Monopolistic mansion

Could 100 Park Lane become the property that achieves the accolade of being Britain’s highest priced private residence?

 

Occupied by property giants Hammerson since 1969 as their corporate headquarters, the 44,000 square foot Grade II* listed Dudley House is one of Park Lane’s finest landmark properties. It is supposedly about to come to the market as a single-family residence and a price of up to £250,000,000 could be achieved.

 

The Park Lane façade of Dudley House, 100 Park Lane, Mayfair, London, W1Y 4AR

 

Dudley House, the only remaining example of an early Park Lane mansion, is named after the Dudley Ward family and built on the site of an earlier house with stabling. The site was acquired by John, 6th Baron Ward, in 1742 but it wasn’t until 1759 that the 3rd Viscount Dudley and Ward began “judicious alterations” to the house. Having paid £6,510 at auction for his late half-brother’s interests in Dudley House, he added an entrance portico and stained glass windows whilst his successor, an ”eccentric intellectual and politician,” set about turning the building into “the most pleasing object in the vicinity.”

 

Works by the architect William Atkinson, carried out between 1827 and 1829, included a screen of Ionic columns, fine ceilings and gilded plasterwork. They remain to this day but it is the 1855 alterations of Samuel Whitfield Daukes that are truly impressive. Carried out on the instructions of the 1st Earl of Dudley, these included a magnificent 80ft picture gallery designed to showcase a collection of Italian and Flemish paintings and a vast 50ft ballroom.

 

The picture gallery at Dudley House

 

In 1895, Dudley House, which is situated at 100 Park Lane, briefly passed out of the Dudley Ward family and into the ownership of a “hard-headed South African mining magnate” named Sir Joseph Benjamin Robinson. Sir John Hubert Ward bought the building back in 1912 for £10,000 and remained there until his death in 1938.

 

Wartime bombing caused significant damage and this was not repaired until Hammerson took over Dudley House. Having hired Sir Robert McAlpine and Sons as contractors, designs by Sir Basil Spence and Anthony Blee were executed to restore the building.  Hammerson remained there until 2006 when they jointly sold the leasehold interest on the house with freeholders Grosvenor for £37.4 million to Bristol Isles Ltd., a private investment company controlled by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thana, the emir of Qatar.

 

His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani (1952 - )

 

The ensuing renovation, directed by the designer Alberto Pinto, has been described as “tasteful” and is said to have cost some £75 million. The resulting air-conditioned home features some 17 bedrooms and 14 reception rooms.

 

It’ll be fascinating to see who “Doesn’t pass go!” and purchases this mammoth mansion (if indeed His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani decides not to move in himself).

 

For more details on Alberto Pinto, go to: http://www.albertopinto.com

 

For more information about His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani: http://www.qatarembassy.net/emir.asp

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  1. “bought for 10.000£ in 1912” if we apply simply inflation calculations to this sum,. and project it to 2012 prices, this house should be on the market for about 1 million £. The fact that somebody has even considered that it should be listed for 250 times that is a testament to the ludicrousness of the property market in London. One might argue that London has become more of destination for the worlds wealthy and therefore comparing the prizes outright to that bygone era is not accurate. But is London 250 times more desirable now than it was then? I think not. Of course what we are dealing with here is a classic example of a property prize bubble, brought on by the overly liquid third world nouveau riche. If I had the space I could show the readers a chart that compares Russian foreign reserves to London property prices, in short they are more or less identical. What that means is that when oil rich nations have surplus capital reserves, property prices in London rise. & when their reserves fall as a result of a economic shock which will deplete their foreign reserves, London real estate prizes will collapse, and 250m £ houses in London will seem just as laughable as facebook is at 100x P/E.

    • I feign to protest you are referring to the ruling family of Qatar as “…the overly liquid third world nouveau riche.” [?????] The Al-Thani’s are not even the average wealthy Gulf bedouins snapping up property. The Emir’s cousin even bought Harrod’s not only because they enjoy living in London, but also because he was in the position to prevent the iconic department store from crippling! Most Brits probably were not even aware that the Al-Fayed family had financial rifts and the negotiations were going on for two years.
      Before one is quick to judge others, take into consideration how much philiopiety you have for your own country. I cannot think of many nations where the citizens [besides the nationalists] (other than obvious China and Qatar) can actually proclaim that they truly love [being Chinese or Qatari] and have loyalty for their own country.
      It’s really amazing what the Emir and his family are doing to take gigantic strides to further grow the visibility of Qatar. The family has a huge vision [their deep pockets help] and can sense the genuine conviction in the videos below and very proud of their feats (and it’s only the beginning)…
      *These are two different Mohammed’s from the same family.
      Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani / FIFA French Presentation: http://bit.ly/GPfVFd
      2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar – 1st Media Conference: http://bit.ly/GPfJ8T
      Sheikh Mohammed Al-Thani in an inspirational video while scaling Mount Blanc 4,810m. The highest mountain in Western Europe. http://bit.ly/GPfNWk

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