Billionaire Wins Approval for Mayfair Property ExtensionNeil Callanan
Billionaire John Caudwell, the founder of mobile-phone retailer Phones4U, won approval for an extension that’s almost 10 times the size of the average U.K. home to a property in London’s affluent Mayfair district.
Caudwell, 61, can develop an additional 938 square meters (10,097 square feet) of living space connecting two houses near Curzon Street, known as hedge-fund alley, after the project was approved late yesterday in a vote by Westminster borough council.
Regulations protecting older buildings and preventing high-rise construction has led to a shortage of space in West End neighborhoods including Mayfair, prompting owners to extend properties to make them more valuable. Caudwell, who sold Phones4U for 1.46 billion pounds ($2 billion) in 2006, plans to include a swimming pool, games room, sauna and car elevator as part of the extension, according to a filing to the borough.
The approval “presents me with the opportunity to create a balanced and logically laid-out family home, whilst restoring the architectural heritage of the building and also incorporating modern-day features and facilities,” Caudwell said in an e-mailed statement today.
The new home would measure more than 50,000 square feet, according to a filing to the borough on behalf of Caudwell. That’s about 10 percent less than the White House in Washington, D.C., according to figures from the White House Historical Association.
Caudwell bought the homes for 81 million pounds in 2012, the Daily Mail reported in October. He has a net worth of 1.5 billion pounds, according to The Sunday Times Rich List.
The average size of a family home in the U.K. is about 97 square meters, insurer and asset manager Liverpool Victoria Friendly Society Ltd. said in a Jan. 7 statement.
Prices of houses and apartments in the U.K. capital’s most expensive neighborhoods will gain 4 percent this year, about half of the increase in 2013, London-based broker Knight Frank LLP said in a Dec. 21 report. Properties in Chelsea, Mayfair and Knightsbridge last year underperformed the rest of London’s best areas for the first time in a decade.