18 February 2015 – Bloomberg
Billionaire property investors David and Simon Reuben won approval to convert a London office building near Buckingham Palace into an eight-bedroom mansion with swimming pool, sauna and staff quarters.The brothers will be allowed to extend 139 Piccadilly in Mayfair and turn it into a single home with about 1,655 square meters (17,800 square feet) of space, the Westminster borough council decided in a 4-0 vote at a meeting on Tuesday. The home will be almost 20 times the size of the average U.K. residence, according to data compiled by the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Home prices in prime areas of central London rose 4.6 percent in 2014, the worst performance in more than five years, as buyers delayed decisions ahead of the general election, according to Knight Frank LLP. Houses in Mayfair sell for about 2,500 pounds ($3,845) a square foot, data compiled by brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. show. A previous resident in the Piccadilly building was playboy and romantic poet Lord Byron, who wrote The Siege of Corinth while living there, according to a filing to the borough.
The property, between Hyde Park and Green Park, is about 320 meters (1,050 feet) from the former In and Out Club, which the Reubens also plan to turn into a mansion. British Land Co. sold luxury apartments on Piccadilly for more than 5,000 pounds a square foot last year, the most paid for new homes in Mayfair.