A famous London court house has been purchased for an undisclosed sum by Doha based Business Trading Company (BTC) for conversion into a £125m ($156 million) unique luxury hotel. The acquisition follows a number of Qatari purchases of high end, luxury property in London such as Harrods, The Shard, Chelsea Barracks and the former US Embassy Building.
The Grade II listed building was constructed in 1881, and was once the home of the Bow Street Runners, London’s first professional police force. Infamous British names to be tried at the court include Oscar Wilde, the Kray brothers and, more recently, radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza Al Masri.
The court ceased legal operations in 2006 and was later granted planning permission to be turned into a 100 bedroom hotel, with some rooms in the old cells.
Mehdi Ghalaie, managing director of BTC UK, told UK media that the company would work with conservation trust English Heritage, Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police to build a “world class boutique hotel that befits the history of this landmark building”.
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