House for sale in London, good location, overlooks park, a bargain at £185m

Developers have stuck an asking price of £185m on a house overlooking Regent’s Park in central London in what would be the UK’s second most-expensive home purchase.

The property firm Zenprop is targeting foreign billionaires as potential buyers of 1-18 York Terrace East as it seeks to cash out of a 2016 investment.

The Grade I-listed building was completed in 1826 under designs by John Nash, the Regency architect whose other works include Buckingham Palace, Regent Street and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.

If it were bought by an individual it would represent the second most expensive house ever sold in the UK, despite the weakness on the luxury housing market caused by the pandemic. The Chinese property tycoon Cheung Chung-kiu agreed in January to buy a 45-room mansion overlooking Hyde Park in London for more than £200m.

The York Terrace East property, with 117,000 square feet of floorspace, previously served as government offices and then student accommodation, after bomb damage during the second world war.

Stephen Lindsay, an agent at Savills who is working on the property, said: “Nothing on this scale in such a prime London location has ever come up for sale.”

Derrick Beare, chief executive of Zenprop, said the building was bought four years ago for less than the current £185m listing price, despite previous reports that the company paid £200m. The sale “is not for me to make a return, it’s pretty much to get my money back and move on”, he told the Financial Times, which first reported the sale.

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Planning officials rejected a previous application for the building to be turned into 13 townhouses because they would be too large, planning documents show.

The developers have planning permission for 26 flats and two houses. The plans would require the removal and replacement of the roof, floors, non-original stairs and the excavation of extra basement space, including underneath the gardens facing Regent’s Park.

Beare told the Financial Times that a prospective buyer had last year considered a bid of more than £200m and planned to turn York Terrace East into very large homes for himself, his sons and their staff. However, that buyer pulled out because of Brexit negotiations.



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