New hotel set for Tower area

A SINGAPORE-BASED consortium, KOP and Reignwood, has purchased the Grade II-listed former Port of London authority headquarters overlooking the Tower of London in a deal thought to be worth over £100m.

KOP Properties hopes to convert Ten Trinity Square into its flagship luxury European hotel in time for the London 2012 Olympics after buying it from troubled US property investment company, Thomas Enterprises.

The development will include penthouses with views of the City and Thames and will be managed by Franklyn Hotels and Resorts, who currently run Cadogan Hotel and Durley House, both in Knightsbridge.

Prime London Partners acted as brokers on the deal while Lloyds Banking Group was the lender for Thomas Enterprises.

The Georgian-based property company, founded by property developer Stan Thomas, purchased the site for an estimated £110m in 2006 but has been forced to abandon the project after it put some assets under bankruptcy protection last year.

Woods Bagot, the architects who drew up the original plans in 2008, have been retained on the development of the imposing building, which was designed by Sir Edwin Cooper in 1922 and played host to the meeting of the UN’s General Assembly in 1946.

The Trinity Square area is currently a focus of construction activity with Mint Hotel (formerly City Inn) in Pepys Street set to open by the end of the year.

Duty manager of the neighbouring hotel Novatel, Hilda Bennis, said the developments will be positive for the tourism industry and should encourage more visitors to the Square Mile.