Billionaire’s London Mayfair Homes Project Wins Approval

  • Development opposite London's Ritz hotel will have 52 units
  • Mayfair offices are being demolished to build luxury homes

Crosstree Real Estate Partners, the property investor backed by Swiss billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, won approval to develop homes and a hotel opposite the Ritz hotel in the Mayfair area of London.

The project, which will include 52 apartments, was approved late Tuesday by the Westminster borough council. The biggest home will be 760 square meters (8,180 square feet), making it nine times the size of the average U.K. residence.

“The proposal seeks to replace existing buildings of little architectural merit with a high quality mixed-use building befitting of this iconic location,” architectural firm Adjaye Associates said in a filing on behalf of Crosstree.

Developers have been turning office buildings in Mayfair into luxury apartments and building new homes as values surge to records. British Land Co. sold apartments in the neighborhood last year for more than 5,000 pounds a square foot, an all-time high. The billionaire Reuben brothers plan to turn the former In and Out Club into a single home that would be 65 times larger than the average U.K. residence.

Home values in Mayfair rose 3.2 percent in the year through August compared with a 1.7 percent gain in central London’s best districts, according to Knight Frank LLP. Sales volumes in prime central London fell 20 percent in the three months through July from the same period last year as a rise in the stamp duty sales tax damped demand, the broker said.

Crosstree Real Estate was founded in 2011 by Sean Arnold, a former head of European acquisitions at Starwood Capital Group, and Nick Lyle, a former head of the U.K. real estate team at Blackstone Group LP.

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