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Qatar Diar buys US London embassy

A Qatar-based investment company is to buy the United States embassy building in London before building a new “state-of-the-art” premises on the site.

The Chancery building on Grosvenor Square will be sold to Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company of Doha. The US embassy is to relocate to a new building in Nine Elms in south London.

The department described the deal as “another step towards relocating to a new state-of-the-art embassy which will enhance the urban fabric of London and demonstrate exceptional American architecture”.

“In early 2010, the State Department will announce a winner of the design competition for the new US Embassy in London.”

“Qatari Diar is looking forward to creating the world class mixed-use development that such a landmark site deserves.”

Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad, Qatari Diar

The embassy was listed Grade II by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last month because it is regarded as a building of special architectural or historic interest. The Department specified the facade and the lobby as the parts of the building most deserving preservation.

Qatari Diar said the agreement was conditional upon the US being able to relocate fully to the new site in Wandsworth.

The company’s chief executive, Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad, said: “Qatari Diar is looking forward to creating the world class mixed-use development that such a landmark site deserves.”

The company has invested more than £3 billion in the UK, and said recently it was willing to increase this figure to £5 billion or more as part of its long-term commitment to the country.

It is involved in two of London’s largest real estate developments: Chelsea Barracks and the Shard Tower.


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