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Berkeley Group to Convert City of London Offices Into 90 Homes

Berkeley Group Holdings Plc, the U.K.’s largest homebuilder by value, will redevelop offices in the City of London financial district into 90 homes, according to documents published on the borough’s planning website.

Roman House, next to the Barbican Estate, will rise to eight stories from six and include homes ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, according to the plan.

“The development will provide much-needed residential accommodation, which reflects local housing needs,” architectural firm Rolfe Judd Ltd. said in a planning statement.

Affluent overseas investors are buying London residential real estate to protect wealth from economic and political turmoil at home. Cobham, England-based Berkeley has benefited by concentrating on London and southeast England, where house prices have been the most resilient.

Berkeley paid about 10 million pounds ($15.6 million) for the 8,600 square-meter (92,800 square-foot) site, the Financial Times reported in August 2010. The building was constructed in the 1950s and has been vacant since December 2007, according to the planning documents. Tim Robertson, a spokesman for the company, didn’t immediately comment.

Heron International is seeking what it says will be the highest home prices ever charged in the City of London in its 36-story building. The Heron, which is due to be completed in 2013, is less than one kilometer (0.62 miles) from Berkeley’s development.

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