Live in a WWII-Era U.S. Embassy in London for £21.5 Million
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Live in a WWII-Era U.S. Embassy in London for £21.5 Million

The three-bedroom, duplex apartment in the notable Mayfair building spans 4,400 square feet

By LIZ LUCKING
Thu, Apr 11, 2024 8:38amGrey Clock 3 min

In the heart of London, a duplex apartment within the city’s former U.S. Embassy, which has been recently transformed into super-prime residences, has hit the market for £21.5 million (US$26.9 million).

The unit, which has been given the presidential moniker of the “Oval Residence,” is within No. 1 Grosvenor Square, and is the last sponsor unit available from developer Lodha UK. The building, on Mayfair’s uber-posh Grosvenor Square, served as the U.S. Embassy from 1938 until 1960, and then as the Canadian High Commission from 1962 until 2013. After being restored brick by brick, quite literally , it reopened as residences in 2022.

Some of the prominent figures of the 20th century have passed through its doors, including John F. Kennedy, who called it home when his father was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the U.K. in the 1930s, Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt, who was loaned an apartment when she visited London during World War II.

The three-bedroom home spans 4,400 square feet and was designed by Blandine de Navacelle, creative director of Studio Lodha, the developer’s interior design practice.

“No.1 Grosvenor Square is one of the capital’s most iconic addresses, and the design of the Oval Residence needed to reflect this,” de Navacelle said in a news release. “With large, open-plan living spaces and floor to ceiling windows, the residence offered the perfect backdrop for statement artwork and eclectic, sculptural furniture.”

Mark Hazeldine

The home also boasts a sleek kitchen, a home theatre, a dining area, wood-panelled walls, fireplaces and a 576-square-foot terrace.

“I regularly visit French galleries and furniture ateliers and am drawn to their art-centric approach to design and interiors,” de Navacelle said. “I wanted to bring a touch of this Parisian eclecticism to No.1 Grosvenor Square, creating a sophisticated and elegant private residence that blends both the classic and the contemporary.”

The turn-key flat is being sold with all of its furnishings.

Future occupants will also have access to the building’s amenities, including an in-house concierge team, a private health club and spa, a pool and a cinema.

Grosvenor Square has been one of London’s most-famed addresses for centuries. Currently in the middle of a dramatic remaking, No.1 Grosvenor Square is just one the enclave’s storied buildings to be undergoing, or to have undergone, a complete transformation.

The former U.S. Naval Building at No. 20, has been transformed into the first solely residential project from the Four Seasons, and the iconic Eero Saarinen-designed U.S. Embassy that spans the entire western side of the square, is set to become the Chancery Rosewood hotel by 2025.

London has no shortage of diplomatic buildings that have been transformed into luxury homes. In February, and for the first time in more than a century, the former Italian Embassy, now a lavish mansion, hit the market for £21.5 million . The former Cypriot Embassy, meanwhile, sold in March for £25 million to a buyer seeking a grand family home in the city.



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35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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Owning a Home in an LGBTQ-Friendly Area Comes With a Hefty Price Premium
By LIZ LUCKING
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The cost of owning a home in an LGBTQ-friendly area in the U.S. comes with a hefty price premium of almost 50%, according to a report Wednesday from Redfin.

In a metropolitan area with state laws protecting LGBTQ people from housing discrimination, a home buyer needs to earn an annual income of $150,364 to afford a median priced home. That’s 46.8% more than the $102,435 buyers need to earn to afford a home in places without such protections, the online property portal said.

For the purposes of their report, a metro is considered to have protections if the state it’s located in prohibits housing discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, Redfin explained. In the case of metro areas which span multiple states, Redfin considered the metro to have protections if at least one of the states it’s located in prohibits such discrimination.

“LGBTQ+ Americans face disproportionately large barriers to homeownership,” said Redfin senior economist Elijah de la Campa in the report. “On top of paying a premium to live somewhere that feels safe, many LGBTQ+ house hunters are earning less than the typical U.S. worker, and face discrimination while shopping for homes despite laws that prohibit it.”

The locales where individuals identifying as LGBTQ make up the largest share of the adult population are also those where housing is the least affordable, the report found.

In San Francisco, where 6.7% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ—the highest share of any of the 54 metropolitan areas Redfin analyzed—only 5.1% of listings last year were affordable based on the median local income, one of the lowest shares in the country.

In Portland, Oregon, which had the second highest share of LGBTQ adults at 6%, only 6.7% of homes for sale were affordable; in Austin, Texas, where 5.9% of the adult population identifies as LGBTQ, 2.9% of listings were affordable.

And in Seattle and Los Angeles, where LGBTQ adults make up 5.2% and 5.1% of the population, 4.8% and 1.9% of homes for sale were affordable, respectively.

All but one of those top LGBTQ metros—Austin—has state-level protections, the report said.

MOST POPULAR
11 ACRES ROAD, KELLYVILLE, NSW

This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

35 North Street Windsor

Just 55 minutes from Sydney, make this your creative getaway located in the majestic Hawkesbury region.

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