Firmdale to Build Hotel on Bomb Site

by Emily DUNBAR on September 23, 2009

Firmdale, which operates luxury and boutique hotels around the United Kingdom, announced its plans to build a new boutique hotel in London.  The company recently purchased a location for the hotel which has caused somewhat of a stir around the United Kingdom.  The boutique hotel, which will cost an estimated sixty million pounds, will be built in Soho in central London on a piece of real estate the company recently purchased for an estimated thirty million pounds.

The site, known as Ham Yard, was a curious location for the hotel and has many around London wondering if it is the proper place to build such a hotel.  The reason for the controversy is that Ham Yard, which is a plot of land a mere three quarters of an acre in size,  was a location that was bombed during the Blitz of World War II.  The location has not been developed since then and has stood almost as a monument to those who lost their lives in the bombing.

Firmdale was able to raise the money for the location from the sale and leaseback of several of their hotels around London.  Two of the company’s six hotels in London were recently sold, which allowed Firmdale to raise the capital for their newest investment.

The Knightsbridge Hotel, as well as Number 16 in Kensignton was both recently sold as Firmdale tried to offset the cost of the boutique hotel it plans to build in Soho.  This was a bold move for the company, especially considering the global economy, which has been particularly tough on luxury hotels.

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