Lodha Group buys iconic London Mayfair property for £300m

Archana Venkatraman

Indian property developer Lodha Group has bought the Canadian High Commission’s property in London’s affluent area Mayfair for just over £300m (3200-crore rupees or $500m). Lodha is planning to redevelop the stately property into a luxury residential building.

Mayfair's iconic building Macdonald House has been bought by Lodha Group
Image: Wikimedia Commons (Eduardo)

The iconic seven-storeyed High Commission of Canada building in Mayfair’s One Grosvenor Square is called Macdonald House and boasts of a total of 130,000 square feet area.

Alongside being the official residence of Canadian High Commissioner, the diplomatic building was used by the embassy to host trade, cultural and consular functions. Macdonald House was previously the home to the American embassy until 1938.

It has been the Canadian diplomatic mansion for about 50 years.

The Canadian Federal government sold the building to Lodha Group after the Indian property developer won the bid among several bidders and wealth funds, according to reports.

The sale comes nearly ten months after the Canadian federal government decided to sell the Mayfair property as part of its cost-cutting strategy. It has lease-owned the property which originally belongs to the Duke of Westminster.

But the government listed the property for sale only in October and has attracted the attention of hundreds of property developers including the Lodha Group. The bidding for the Canadian government was handled by UK property specialist Savills UK.

Lodha Group is funding the purchase entirely through its internal cash reserves and is not planning to raise external funds, according to The Economic Times. The property-developer will complete the financial transaction by January next year. It hopes to raise up to a total of £750m from its luxury residential property project targeting the “super-rich” in London.

Meanwhile, the Canadian diplomatic residence will move to Trafalgar Square,

The £300m+ sale of the Mayfair property comes as London house prices has been on a steady rise. While average London house prices rose by 8% in October, Mayfair properties, one of London’s most expensive places, have seen a sharper rise of 11%.

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