Bonhams, the auction house founded in 1793, won approval for the 30 million-pound ($47 million) conversion of its headquarters on London’s New Bond Street.
Bonhams will retain the existing store fronts and add three salesrooms, preview galleries, a café and space for employees, spokesman Julian Roup said by e-mail.
“We have the green light,” he said. “The redevelopment will cost 30 million pounds and be completed by December 2013.”
The current headquarters has been described as “a Dickensian rabbit warren”, according to Bonham’s website. Construction work on the new buildings is to be phased so that auctions won’t be affected.
New Bond Street is the second most expensive retail street in Europe after the Champs Elysées in Paris, according to real estate broker Cushman & Wakefield Inc. Bonham rival Sotheby’s also has a sales office on the street and other retailers with stores there include Cartier, an affiliate of CIE Financiere Richemont SA (CFR), and Louis Vuitton, part of Paris-based LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA (MC), the largest maker of luxury goods.
The new building was designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. His other projects include the Jewish Community Centre in the London borough of Camden, due to open in 2013, and a 50,000 square-foot (4,600 square-meter) food and restaurant space in the Tsvetnoy Central Market in Moscow.