The sale of the Old War Office, Whitehall, to the Hinduja Group in partnership with OHL Developments whose main shareholder is Grupo Villar Mir, is one of the largest private Spanish industrial groups.
The 580,000 sq ft property, marketed as 57 Whitehall, was sold on a long lease arrangement to the joint venture for in excess of £350 million following a competitive marketing process. Working collaboratively with the purchasers the building will be sympathetically restored, redeveloped and re-imagined as a high quality hotel and residential apartments.
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), which is responsible for managing and maintaining land and property on behalf of the MOD, appointed Bilfinger GVA to market the building after it was declared surplus to Defence. It is estimated the sale will generate a saving for the department of around £8-10 million per year in running costs.
Defence Minister, Mark Lancaster MP said:
I am delighted to complete the sale of the Old War Office. The building has played an important part in our country’s history and presents a unique redevelopment opportunity in an unrivalled location in the heart of Westminster. The sale reflects our aim of achieving a rationalised defence estate to more appropriately meet the needs of our armed forces and the 250 year lease will ensure the heritage and security of the building for many years to come.
The Grade II* Listed Building, completed in 1906, contains around 1,100 rooms across 7 floors, linked by more than 2 miles of corridors.
The sale aligns with the MOD’s Footprint Strategy which aims to create a smaller but significantly better defence estate that will support our armed forces well into the future. The MOD has worked closely with the purchasers, Historic England and other government stakeholders throughout the process.