Do you know where the London Chancery Building is? Do you know who resides in 24 Grosvenor square in London? The answer to the first question is: 24 Grosvenor Square. The answer to the second is: The American Embassy.
The London Chancery building at 24 Grosvenor Square has been the home of the American Embassy since 1960. However, this is about to change.
After being associated with Grosvenor Square since 1785, the Americans have sold the building and are upping sticks and moving to South London. Their new home will be in Nine Elms, and this means the security restrictions in place outside the embassy in Grosvenor Square will be lifted.
Since the attacks on America in 2001, the west side of Grosvenor Square has been sealed off to motorised traffic and an armed road block placed at the entrance of the building. These restrictions have obviously caused great inconvenience to the people working in the square, and have inconvenienced those attempting to travel in the area surrounding the square.
Without wishing to offend our American friends, we imagine many people will be glad when the new landlords redevelop the Chancery Building, and they can move around the square with ease.
The new landlords of the Chancery Building are Qatari Diar, and they have ambitious plans for this very imposing building.
The London Chancery Building
The London Chancery Building covers the whole of the western side of Grosvenor Square. It contains 600 rooms and accommodates over 700 employees, of which only half are Americans.
To conform with the height restriction on buildings in the square, there are six stories, one containing a penthouse above ground, while a further three stories have been built below ground.
So what plans do the new landlords have for the Chancery Building?
A new beginning
This grade II listed building, once the largest western embassy in the world, and named ‘Fortress America’, is to become a luxury hotel. But not just any hotel. In addition to the planned 137 rooms, there is to be a ballroom large enough to accommodate 1,000 people. It will also contain five restaurants and six high-end shops. There are also plans for a spar and some bars.
The new owners will remove the intimidating bollards and armed barriers that have been guarding the Embassy. This will restore Grosvenor Square to its original status as an open green space for people to enjoy. It will also restore Grosvenor Square’s fortunes.
A renaissance for Mayfair
This luxury hotel with its upmarket shops and restaurants will bring new life to the entire area in and around Grosvenor Square. It will act as a focal point that will attract tourists with spending power and encourage new investment. All of this new interest can only serve to benefit Mayfair.