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Saturday, 13 January 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

Trump may be right about embassy sale

LONDON: US President Donald Trump may have a point when he says the country sold its embassy in London for “peanuts.”

Data compiled by broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc for Bloomberg News shows the sale of the historic building in London’s Mayfair neighbourhood took place at the bottom of the last property bust.

Values for the best offices in the West End district, which includes Mayfair, have doubled since then.

However, the embassy had a number of problems..

It was listed for historical preservation in 2009 to protect its modernist concrete facade, meaning any modernisation would be a challenge.

The site is also less secure than the new facility in the Vauxhall Nine Elms district that is surrounded by its own moat. — Bloomberg

The long lease on the Grosvenor Square property was sold to the state of Qatar, which is planning to convert the building into a luxury hotel.

The new US embassy on the south bank of the River Thames had been scheduled to open during Obama’s term, but delays pushed back its formal opening until this year. The former industrial area is being redeveloped to include thousands of new luxury apartments, offices and stores. Apple Inc. is moving its European headquarters to the district. — Bloomberg