Russian oligarch Vladimir Chernukhin is set to transform a landmark City building into London’s first six-star hotel.
Chernukhin, a former Russian Deputy Finance Minister, was yesterday granted planning permission to redevelop the former Midland Bank headquarters – the imposing Grade 1 listed building situated on Poultry behind the Bank of England – into a luxury hotel.
Chernukhin bought the building two years ago for £72m and will soon begin work to convert the building into a 184-bedroom hotel. Not to be outdone by near-neighbour the Coq d’Argent restaurant at 1 Poultry, which boasts a large roof-top garden, the new hotel will also have a roof garden – as well as bars, restaurants and a private members’ clubs.
Chernukhin bought the property, which gained fame when its vaults featured in the James Bond film Goldfinger in 1964, from HBOS and Paul Kemsley, the multimillionaire property entrepreneur and director of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club at the height of the property boom. The pair had bought the building just five months earlier for £40m when Kemsley noticed it was undervalued.
The property, which occupies just under an acre of prime real estate, was built in the 1920s and designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens. Six-star hotels are not officially recognised as a category the UK.