One of Britain’s most successful entrepreneurs has unveiled plans to transform a multi-storey car park into a £2 BILLION apartment block.
Billionaire businessman John Caudwell bought Audley Street garage and the surrounding buildings in Mayfair for around £155 million in 2011.
He plans to demolish the site and replace it with a state-of-the-art residential development to trump rival One Hyde Park as the world’s poshest place to live.
Audley Square House will be a nine-storey high building with a lower ground floor and four basement levels, accommodating 30 high-end properties.
This will be made up of five townhouses, three penthouses, a mews home and 21 luxury apartments.
Each penthouse will have its own lift, gym and swimming pool and the largest, which will be 13,401 sq/ft, will be worth more than #100 million.
The five proposed townhouses will have their own pool and gym.
On the lower second floor of the development will be the ‘communal amenity facilities’.
This includes a 15-metre swimming pool, a business centre for holding meetings, a gym, spa and cinema and games room.
Plans for the ambitious proposal were submitted to Westminster Council this week after being put together by US architects RAMSA, which beat 30 rivals to the job.
Audley Square House is regarded as a “super prime” scheme with one estate agent believing it could be in contention to be London’s first £10,000 per sq/ft scheme.
Becky Fatemi, director of Rokstone estate agents, said Audley Square House was “one of the most exciting residential projects ever unveiled in London”.
She believes the new Audley Square residences could achieve anything from £5,500 per sq/ft up to over £7,000 per sq/ft – and even hit £10,000 per sq/ft in time.
The 296,000 sq/ft development has more than 200,000 sq/ft of residential space – potentially putting the value between £1.5 and #2 billion.
Ms Fatemi said: “John Caudwell’s visionary proposals will replace an unsightly multi-storey concrete car park at 5 Audley Square and convert it into a super-prime residential project.
“The Audley Square project will create a new luxury village for Mayfair and will rival One Hyde Park as London’s best luxury address.
“This is a major contender to be London’s first #10,000 per sq/ft luxury residential scheme.”
Mr Caudwell, who founded Phones4U, has previously described the location as being “the best site in the world but with some of the ugliest buildings”.
He hinted the stone-clad development, on 0.32 hectares of prime London, will be “very beautiful” and was planning on “many hundreds of millions” on it.
If planning is approved, the development is likely to be one of the world’s most exclusive, challenging One Hyde Park as the most expensive.
Mayfair prices continue to rise and some agents estimate the cost per sq/ft will soon exceed its next-door neighbour, Knightsbridge.
There are no plans for affordable housing on site, with Caudwell Properties offering to pay Westminster Council #8,128,000 instead.
Charities and the treasury also stand to reap the rewards if the project is given the go-ahead.
Mr Caudwell – who is one of Britain’s highest taxpayers – is well-known for his philanthropy and intends to donate his wealth to good causes.
Stamp Duty alone could net the government more than #100 million.
Early indications show the ambitious plans have been met with support from locals, who want rid of the 1960s eyesore currently on site.
However, the site is surrounded by some very rich and influential people who may not be happy with years of drilling and building work.
Ms Fatemi added: “The project will have a lower ground floor and 4 basement levels, this will be a major engineering scheme.
“The neighbours are powerful and include the Embassy of Qatar, the Dorchester Hotel and very wealthy apartment owners who will expect the site construction to be managed to the highest levels to ensure no noise or construction impact and they will expect constantly clean roads.”
If given the go-ahead, Audley Square House will be Mr Caudwell’s latest contribution to Mayfair’s revival.
The businessman owns two separate properties which back onto each other and is spending millions converting them into one mega-mansion.
He also owns a mansion next door to the proposed development, which he has previously put on the rental market for #15,000 per week.
It will also continue the incredible rags to riches life of one of Britain’s wealthiest men.
In the late 1980s Caudwell was living in a caravan when he bought 26 mobile phones to re-sell. They took a year to sell, but this spawned Phones4U which he went on to sell for #1.5 billion in 2006.
A spokesperson for the project yesterday (Thurs) declined to comment.