A London subway station that served as a command center during Nazi air-raids on the British capital in World War II was sold for 53 million pounds ($89 million) to be used for homes.
The property at 206 Brompton Road, about a five-minute walk from Harrods department store in Knightsbridge, has 28,000 square feet (2,600 square meters) of space above ground and some subterranean areas that haven’t been used since the war, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement today. It didn’t identify the buyer.
The MOD is selling assets to raise cash amid budget cuts. The site of the former Brompton Road Underground Station was offered to potential buyers in September, the ministry said. Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (JLL), a Chicago-based broker, advised on the sale.
“The property will now be used for a predominantly residential development and the money raised will be plowed back into the defense budget,” the MOD said.
The tube station, designed by British architect Leslie Green, opened in 1906. It was closed 28 years later and the War Office used the site as the headquarters of southern England’s anti-aircraft operations, according to the MOD. The building above ground contains a drill hall, garages, offices and a mess hall. Until recently, it was used by military trainees.
Below ground, a large map of London is one of the few relics left over from the war, MOD spokesman Robert Mead said by phone. The ministry said it’s working with the National Archives to ensure the map is recorded. The station platform itself and the tube line weren’t commandeered by the military and weren’t included in the transaction. The new owner won’t have access to either, the MOD said.
Residential property prices in London’s most expensive locations, which include Knightsbridge and other parts of the West End district, outperformed the rest of the U.K. market in recent years as overseas investors sought a haven for their money.
The London Underground is the world’s oldest subterranean rail network, according to Transport for London.
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