“It was a very difficult thing to put together,” says Stephen Lindsay, the listing agent for what could become the second-highest priced home to ever sell in England. He’s referring to York Terrace East, which has just come on the market for $242 million (approximately £185 million)—an asking price less than what the seller paid for it.
Derrick Beare, CEO of ZenProp, the company that owns the property, did not disclose the amount they paid for the transaction but told the Financial Times they purchased the building for less than they are asking for it saying, “…is not for me to make a return, it’s pretty much to get my money back and move on.”
“When my clients bought it,” says Lindsay, who spoke by phone from London, “it was an international students house, and it was on a short lease, it had a Rotary Club in it, it had a school in it. They had to basically buy everything out and get the planning. It was very complicated. After four years we got it all ready and perfect.”
The land underneath the building is owned by The Crown Estate, which goes to support the financial portfolio of the Royal Family and diverts some of its profits to taxpayers. ZenProp had originally planned to extend their lease for 150 years, redevelop the property into 28 separate homes (which has already been approved by the planning board), and then sell it for profit. There are differing reports on the exact square footage, but according to Lindsay, the residential planning allows 110,000 interior square feet.
But now, with the change in the economic climate, they are marketing it as a potential single-family home with the goal of attracting a foreign buyer.
“It’s quite unique. It’s the first time we’ve had a whole terrace to sell,” said Lindsay, referring to the style of architecture common to London where a dozen or more attached townhouses are built on the length of a city block. “We’ve sold half a terrace, twice. But we’ve never had a whole terrace.”
Built in 1826 by the famed British architect John Nash, who also designed Buckingham Palace and Carlton Place (where billionaire Ken Griffin purchased London’s priciest pad a few years ago), the building was originally 18 separate homes but was combined into one to be used for government offices pre-World War II. After suffering bomb damage during the war, it was turned into accommodation for students, but the charity that oversaw the property for that purpose deemed it too expensive to maintain in recent years.
A few years ago developers wanted to turn it into fewer homes with much larger square footage, but that plan was rejected as not maximizing the existing space enough for a city that already has a housing shortage. The location of the building overlooking Regents Park is in a prime luxury neighborhood near another high-end location, Marylebone.
“The most unique thing about it is it’s completely quiet [but] when you come out your main front door, you’re in Marylebone High Street within two minutes,” said Lindsay. The home also has extensive gardens and 42 underground parking spaces across the road. “If you’re a high net worth individual who wants to put the families in one place, you won’t get it again.”
If the mega-property sells for $242 million, it would be the second-highest price on the record for England, after the January 2020 sale of London’s Rutland Gate for a reported $262 million.
For more information, contact Stephen Lindsay with Savills.