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Dutch sale of embassy near Hyde Park could fetch £150m



Moving out: the Dutch embassy building in Kensington could be split into apartments or kept as a single residence Picture: Alex Lentati

John Dunne 

The Dutch embassy in Kensington is up for sale — with bids expected to reach £150 million.

The mansion block, 38 Hyde Park Gate, has been home to the Kingdom of the Netherlands since 1953. But the Dutch are selling up as they plan to move their embassy south, to the new diplomacy quarter at Nine Elms.

An early planning report showed the 75,000 sq ft property could be converted into 18 apartments. If kept as one residence, it would be one of the world’s largest private homes. The building has views over Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. When development is complete, it could have a value of more than £500 million.

But any buyer would have to lease the 122-year-old building back to the Dutch until 2018, when the embassy in Nine Elms will become available.

The Dutch are the latest to take advantage of the capital’s property market. Last year Canada sold its high commission in Grosvenor Square to an Indian developer for about £306 million. The Nepalese government is also understood to be trying to sell its embassy in Kensington Palace Gardens.

In total around 20 embassies or diplomacy-related buildings have been sold or considered for sale over the past 18 months.

The Dutch embassy is being sold by Cushman & Wakefield. A spokesman for the agency said: “Hyde Park Gate, one of London’s most sought after addresses, provides a rare opportunity to create a vast single residence or multiple apartments adjacent to Kensington Palace, the former home of Princess Diana.”

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