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Billionaire buys £40m penthouse in former war office building


It housed the offices of David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill and doubled as MI6 headquarters in three James Bond films.

Now, a mysterious billionaire has bombed an estimated £40m on an exclusive penthouse apartment in London’s former War Office building in Whitehall.

The building, built in 1906, served as Sir Winston’s office when he was Secretary of State for War, from 1919 until 1921.

A key location during both World Wars, it was also a base for other politicians including Lord Haldane, Lord Kitchener and David Lloyd George, while scandal-hit John Profumo used his office in the building during his time as Secretary of War to entertain Christine Keeler.

In 1983, when it was still owned by the Department of Defense, it began its long association with the Bond franchise when it debuted in Octopussy, then A View to a Kill and License to Kill.

The building was also seen in the background when the last Bond star Daniel Craig stood on the roof of the adjacent building in the 2012 movie Skyfall.

The Hinduja Brothers, a British and Indian billionaire, bought the building from the Ministry of Defense in 2014 for £350 million and have now developed it into a massive complex with a 120-room hotel, 11 restaurants and 85 private apartments.

A billionaire in his 30s was willing to pay more than £11,000 per square foot for a penthouse on the fifth and sixth floors, according to The Times.

It housed the offices of David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill and doubled as MI6 headquarters in three James Bond films. Now, a mysterious billionaire has bombed an estimated £40m on an exclusive penthouse in the former War Office building (pictured) in Whitehall, London

The building was also seen in the background when the last Bond star Daniel Craig stood on the roof of the adjacent building in the 2012 movie Skyfall.

The building was also seen in the background when the last Bond star Daniel Craig stood on the roof of the adjacent building in the 2012 movie Skyfall.

Plans approved by Westminster Council show that the four-bed residence sits on 3,442 square feet which also includes the three-story building’s iconic north tower. It features views across the south bank across from the Thames.

When the trophy origin was marketed publicly in 2014, it was expected to attract bids of around £100m.

Hinduja Brothers, in partnership with OHL Desarrollos, ended up spending three times that amount on the 580,000 square foot property.

It is rumored that the owner of the penthouse is someone with ties to the Hindu family.

The price they paid per square foot – around £11,000 – is said to be the highest ever delivered for a London property.

A billionaire in his 30s was willing to pay more than £11,000 per square foot for a penthouse on the fifth and sixth floors.  Above: One of the pictures of the amazing new development

A billionaire in his 30s was willing to pay more than £11,000 per square foot for a penthouse on the fifth and sixth floors. Above: One of the pictures of the amazing new development

It is rumored that the owner of the penthouse is someone with ties to the Hindu family.  Above: Swimming pool in the new location

It is rumored that the owner of the penthouse is someone with ties to the Hindu family. Above: Swimming pool in the new location

The iconic building's tower is now part of the exclusive penthouse that an elusive billionaire cashed in £40m

The building’s iconic tower is now part of the exclusive penthouse that an elusive billionaire cashed in £40m

Floor plans for a second floor four-bedroom apartment.  .  The four-bed penthouse spans over 3,442 square feet which also includes the three-story building's iconic north tower.  It has views across the south bank across from the Thames

Floor plans for a second floor four-bedroom apartment. . The four-bed penthouse spans over 3,442 square feet which also includes the three-story building’s iconic north tower. It has views across the south bank across from the Thames

CGI images of the proposed development at the time were released in 2016. Anyone who chooses to live in one of the new apartments will be based in the heart of Whitehall

CGI images of the proposed development at the time were released in 2016. Anyone who chooses to live in one of the new apartments will be based in the heart of Whitehall

The seven-story building (pictured before development began) is made of 25 million bricks and 30,000 tons of Portland and York stone.  There are two and a half miles long lanes (pictured), many of which are ten feet wide

The seven-story building (pictured before development began) is made of 25 million bricks and 30,000 tons of Portland and York stone. There are two and a half miles long lanes (pictured), many of which are ten feet wide

When the trophy origin was marketed publicly in 2014, it was expected to attract bids of around £100m.  Hinduja Brothers, in partnership with OHL Desarrollos, ended up spending three times that amount on the 580,000 square foot property.  Above: Sri Hinduja (left) and Gopi Hinduja in 2017

When the trophy origin was marketed publicly in 2014, it was expected to attract bids of around £100m. Hinduja Brothers, in partnership with OHL Desarrollos, ended up spending three times that amount on the 580,000 square foot property. Above: Sri Hinduja (left) and Gopi Hinduja in 2017

About £7,400 per square foot was paid to develop Candy Brothers’ One Hyde Park in 2017.

Charlie Walsh, the building’s head of residential sales, told The Times: “Being able to divulge the news that a one-of-a-kind four-bed duplex apartment has sold at a record price per square foot in London. Exciting for us, but we’re not surprised to get this home so quickly.

The development’s website, named The Owo and operated by luxury hotel chain Raffles, boasts an “exceptional address in Whitehall”.

The seven-story building is made of 25 million bricks and 30,000 tons of Portland and York bricks. There are two and a half miles long trails, many of which are ten feet wide.

In October 1940, four bombs hit the building, causing surface damage and killing one person. It was hit by seven other bombs during the war, but the damage to the building was minimal.

The building was also frequented by members of the Secret Intelligence and one of the secret entry ways still retains the nickname, Entrance to Spies.

When the trophy was marketed publicly in 2014, it was expected to attract bids of around £100m.

When the trophy was marketed publicly in 2014, it was expected to attract bids of around £100m.

WINSTON CHURCHILL AND DAVID LLOYD GEORGE HOME PAGE: THE HISTORY OF THE OLD WAR OFFICE IN WHITE LONDON

William Young was commissioned as an engineer for the War Office in 1898 but died two years later.

The iconic building’s design was completed by his son, Sir John Taylor.

It was designed as a trapezoid to maximize land use in Whitehall.

The building took five years to construct from the first bricks laid in 1901 until it was completed in 1906.

Several luxury marble fireplaces are incorporated into the rooms from the former war office on Pall Mall and all are more than 200 years old.

The War Office was home to many notable Secretaries of State including Lord Haldane, Lord Kitchener, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill.

The War Office was home to many notable Secretaries of State including Lord Haldane, Lord Kitchener, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill.

The War Office was home to many notable Secretaries of State including Lord Haldane, Lord Kitchener, David Lloyd George, and Winston Churchill.

With the onset of World War I, the number of War Office personnel increased, with various divisions spread across London.

In October 1940, four bombs hit the War Office, causing superficial damage and killing one person.

It was hit by seven other bombs over the course of World War II, but damage to the building was minimal.

The importance of the War Office declined dramatically after World War I, a fact made clear by the significant reductions in its staff numbers during the interwar period.

On April 1, 1920, it employed 7,434 civil servants. This reduced to 3,872 by April 1, 1930. Its responsibilities and funding were also reduced.

However it remained the center of the Army’s administration until the Ministry of Defense was unified in 1964 and most of the department was moved to the main Ministry of Defense building.



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