London Metropolitan police's first headquarters has been acquired by Indian billionaire Yusuffali Kader, who will turn the Great Scotland Yard into a luxury hotel under a joint venture with the Steigenberger Hotel Group.
Kader's Abu Dhabi-headquartered Lulu Group paid £110m (€155.5m, $170.7m) for the Whitehall building owned by Galliard Homes, which bought a 125-year lease on the site in 2013. Lulu has a range of businesses including retail chains and food processing.
The Metropolitan Police had been at the Great Scotland Yard for 61 years until 1890. The Ministry of Defence also held the property as an office until 2004. It was a British Army recruitment office during World War I.
As per the redevelopment plan, Lulu will join hands with the Steigenberger Hotel Group to turn the building into a 92,000-square-foot hotel.
The firms will spend £50m for the refurbishment of the building and site. The five-star hotel due to open in early 2017 will offer suites costing as much as £10,000 per night and will be named the Great Scotland Yard.
The seven-storey hotel will also have two bars, a restaurant, library, and private entertainment and dining space, and it will employ about 250 people.
Galliard's plan to sell the property to Malmaison Hotel Group collapsed, as American private equity house KSL Capital Partners offloaded Malmaison to Singaporean property group Frasers Hospitality for £363m in June.
Indian investors have also been taking part in the foreign buying spree in the London real estate market, taking advantage of its safe-haven status.
Indian home builder Lodha Group acquired the former Canadian High Commission on Grosvenor Square for £306m. In June 2014, Mumbai-based developer Indiabulls bought a building in central London's Hanover Square for £155m.
In addition, the Hinduja Group bought the Old War Office in December 2014, with plans to convert the historic building on Whitehall into homes and a hotel.