Fascinated by the British culture? Do you follow every move Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make? Or perhaps you remember exactly what your were doing the day Princess Diana died. Don’t just immerse yourself in the U.K. lifestyle — own a piece of history in a distinctive London landmark that’s been closed to the public for nearly a century, but will soon re-emerge as a five-star hotel and haven of luxury flats.
Found across the way from Her Majesty’s Horse Guards and the 57-acre St. James Park, within walking distance to Buckingham Palace, the so-called Old War Office building was originally designed by noted Scottish architect William Young and his son, Clyde Young, and completed in 1906. Formerly the site of the original Palace of Whitehall — home to Henry VIII and other monarchs — the neo-Baroque-style structure is where Prime Minister Winston Churchill commanded the British Armed Forces.
It’s also where novelist Ian Fleming supposedly conceived the character James Bond after working for Britain’s Naval Intelligence Service. Fittingly, parts of several Bond movies were reportedly filmed on the premises, and the building’s exterior was used as MI6 headquarters in “Octopussy,” “Licence to Kill” and “A View to a Kill.” Episodes of popular Netflix series “The Crown,” have also been shot there.
Today, the Grade II*-listed structure is entering into another era, reopening in 2022 following a five-year, $1.6 billion restoration and conversion led by Indian-based developer Hinduja Group. Set to make its debut in 2022, The OWO Residences by Raffles will feature 85 luxury residences situated adjacent to Europe’s first Raffles-branded hotel, offering 125 rooms and suites, nine restaurants and bars, a spa pool and garden.
Sales already have launched for the homes, which start at £5.8 million — or around $8 million USD at current conversion rates — for a two-bedroom apartment, and then range upwards from there based on a “price-on-application” basis for a duo of penthouses and two residences located in the iconic structure’s turrets overlooking the city skyline.