Mumbai, March 2 (IANS) The Hinduja Group said on Wednesday that it had acquired the heritage Old War Office in London that was once inhabited by Winston Churchill.
The Group said in a statement that it planned to restore and convert the 1,100 rooms there into a five-star hotel and luxury residences besides other facilities.
The British Ministry of Defence handed over the keys to the historic building to Hinduja Group Global Co-Chairman G.P. Hinduja, Chairman Europe P.P. Hinduja, Chairman of Villar-Mir and OHL Group Juan-Miguel Villar-Mir, at a ceremony in London on Tuesday evening.
Located at 57 Whitehall, near the British Parliament and 10 Downing Street, it is spread across 580,000 sq feet on seven floors, connected by more than three kilometres of corridors.
The heritage building has 1,100 rooms which the Hinduja Group will restore and convert into a five-star hotel and residences besides rooms for private functions, spa and fitness facilities.
“With our Spanish partners, we have a unique vision for the Old War Office — our ambitious plans will give it a new lease of life and add a glittering new jewel to London’s crown,” said G.P. Hinduja on the deal which he described as ‘giving something back to the United Kingdom as an ode’.
P.P. Hinduja said that in keeping with the dynamic spirit of London, the Group will give the building a new lease of life, while “remaining conscious of its unique heritage”.
“We will work meticulously to restore the distinctive and historic fabric of the building and convert it into a distinguished hotel and luxury residence, bringing a further dimension to this prominent Whitehall landmark,” P.P. Hinduja added.
The building has been acquired on a 250-year lease arrangement by Hinduja Group in partnership with Spanish industrial company Obrascon Huarte Lain Desarrollos (OHLD) following a competitive marketing process.
The high-profile project will also see State Bank of India entering and collaborating into the London realty markets, said SBI official Sanjiv Chadha. The SBI is funding the project.
Present on the occasion were Indian High Commissioner Navtej Singh Sarna and former Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan.