THE HINDUJA brothers have acquired a prime property, which originally belonged to the British queen, for £58 million. The idea: to spend another £40-50 million and convert it into a mansion for their joint family.
Though S.P. Hinduja and G.P. Hinduja, chairman and president respectively of the Hinduja Group, are based here, the proposed mansion at Carlton House Terrace on the Mall, the road leading to Buckingham Palace, will also have residential accommodation for the families of Geneva-based Prakash Hinduja and Mumbai-based Ashok Hinduja when they visit here.
Acquired from the Crown Estate, the property with 60 rooms would accommodate 38 members of their extended family, sources close to the Hindujas said.
Once completed, in three years time, the ‘palace’ is likely to outstrip the value of Lakshmi Mittal's house in Kensington Palace Gardens, said the Sunday Times. In any case with 62,000 sq ft of living space, it will have 12,000 sq ft more area than the Mittal home. Mittal had paid £70 million to Bernie Ecclestone, motor-racing's powerbroker, for the house in west London.
The renovation of the Carlton House Terrace, the former head office of the Crown Estate, will cost the Hindujas almost £800 per sq ft. So far the most expensive interiors in London have cost £400 per sq ft but the Terrace comprises of offices, so more money will be needed for conversion into luxurious living areas. This will include 32 bedrooms, one living room, dining room and kitchen -- because the brothers plan to have their meals together.
The property has an impressive history. Its past residents have included Earl Grey, whose family gave their name to the tea, and William Gladstone, the Liberal PM.