Chinese tycoon agrees to buy London mansion for record £200m

A Chinese property tycoon has agreed to buy a 45-room mansion overlooking Hyde Park in London for more than £200m, making it by far the most expensive house to be sold in the UK.

Cheung Chung-kiu, who already owns the £1.15bn so-called “Cheesegrater” skyscraper in the City, is “in the process” of buying 2-8a Rutland Gate for between £205m-£210m.

The seven-storey property was built as four grand family homes before being converted into one vast residence in the 1980s. The previous owner had been Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia who died in 2011. It has also been home to the billionaire businessman Rafic Hariri, who twice served as Lebanon’s prime minister.

When the sale completes in the next few weeks it will officially become the UK’s most expensive home. The record is currently held by Park Place, a stately home near Henley-on-Thames, in Berkshire, which was bought in 2011 by the exiled Russian billionaire Andrey Borodin for £140m. Last year, the US hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, bought a Grade II*-listed Georgian mansion within sight of Buckingham Palace for £95m.

Cheung has yet to decide whether he will use the 62,000 sq ft mansion as his family home or divide it into a series of lateral apartments. If renovated and converted into apartments the property could be worth up to £700m, a spokesman said.

“2-8a Rutland Gate is in the process of being acquired by funds advised by the family office of Mr Cheung Chung-kiu,” the spokesman said. “At present no decision has been made on whether the final scheme will be a single house for private client use, or an ultra-prime multi-unit apartment scheme.”

The Knightsbridge house, which was built in the 1830s, features approximately 45 rooms including grand staterooms, 20 bedrooms, a swimming pool, private health spa and gym and underground parking for several cars. There are also “several passenger lifts” and a wing of staff rooms.

The house is located just south of Kensington Gardens and 68 of its windows have a park view. The interiors were created by acclaimed French designer Alberto Pinto.

The property has been vacant since the crown prince died, and was put on the market for £300m. After three years on sale the entire contents of the property were auctioned off, from ornate chandeliers and jewel-encrusted bidets to curtains, doors and four 24-carat gold-plated waste paper bins.

Cheung, from Chongqing in south-west China, is the founder and chairman of CC Land Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed company that owns property in China and the UK.

CC Land bought the Leadenhall building in the City of London, London’s tallest tower, better known as the Cheesegrater, for £1.15bn in 2017. The company is also redeveloping the site of the former Whiteleys department store in Bayswater, west London.

The sale of the Knightsbridge mansion, which has slightly more living space than the size of an American football pitch, was brokered by Gary Hersham, the founder of Beauchamp Estates, who declined to comment. News of the transaction was first reported by Bloomberg News.

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