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Plans are in progress to relocate the staff and operations of London’s War Office, situated near 10 Downing Street. It is anticipated by the Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, that the relocation, which will place staff under one roof – of the main building, will save around £8 million a year. The move will take place next year, 107 years after construction of the Ministry of Defence building was complete.
The building was central to the planning of the military conflicts during the 20th century, and in its time has housed several secretaries of state, including Churchill and Lord Kitchener.
Of course, the question is, what will happen to the site when it’s no longer belonging to the Ministry of Defence. It has over a thousand rooms and two and a half miles of corridors. As would be expected, it was bombed several times during the Second World War, but did not suffer significant or lasting damage.
It is expected that a price could be obtained of over £1 million, with the possibility of it being turned into a luxury hotel being mooted.
Eugene O’Sullivan, of Morgan Pryce, notes, “Not even the government is immune to the need to make cost savings at the present time, and this move shows that there is no room for nostalgia when taking into account both economics and efficiency. But because of the building’s history, there is bound to be great interest in the sale, and henceforward, in whatever use to which the building is put.”
Professional agents have yet to be instructed, but this project will be watched carefully when this, one of London’s most iconic buildings, comes to market.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.