Abu Dhabi’s London penthouse project ‘overlooks Queen’s balcony’

A penthouse “overlooking the Queen’s balcony” will cap a London luxury apartment project planned near Buckingham Palace, according to its Abu Dhabi-based owner.

The 10,000 square-foot apartment at No 1 Palace Street across the street from the royal residence will probably fetch about £60 million (Dh338.14bn), Jassim Alseddiqi, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi Financial Group, said in an interview in the UAE capital.

“It’s one of a kind,” he said. “There’s interest, but we won’t release it until it’s finished. We’ll probably auction it.”

The company intends to spend around $400 million this year on development while scouting for new properties in London and Miami. At Palace Street, it plans to build 72 luxury apartments. The penthouse is set for completion by December 2017. The chief executive estimates the apartments in the building can fetch £4,000 to £5,000 a square foot.

“This year, it will be about unlocking the value of what we acquired last year,” he said. “No 1 Palace Street, for example, isn’t in Mayfair or Knightsbridge. It’s a location that will be as good as those areas in the future.”

Abu Dhabi Financial Group bought the Palace Street property in November in a £310m financing deal. It acquired New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of London’s Metropolitan Police since 1967, in December for £370m.

The Abu Dhabi company, founded in 2011, is a multi-billion dollar investment firm focused on real estate, financial services and alternative debt, according to its website. The company, which opened a residential, commercial and retail centre in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica, last year, is planning to build homes and offices on 1 million square-feet of land on the coast, the chief executive said.

The company beat 10 other bidders last year to buy New Scotland Yard. It plans to complete the redevelopment of the 1.7-acre site in Victoria by 2020. The project will include 300 to 350 apartments, offices, shops and other facilities with construction expected to start by the end of 2016, according to the CEO.

Mr Alseddiqi isn’t done with the UK capital yet. He said he’s considering another “development opportunity” in central London to build homes, declining to be more specific.

The company also sees growth opportunities in residential and hotel properties in US cities such as Miami, Los Angeles and New York and is studying a housing development opportunity in Miami.

“Most attractive to us is Miami,” he said. “It has a lot of room to grow and it’s coming up as a lifestyle city.”

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