London’s iconic BT Tower sold for US$347m set for hotel conversion

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One of London’s most iconic buildings, the BT Tower, has been sold for £275m (US$347m) and is set to be converted to a hotel. The 600-foot tower was opened in 1965 by Harold Wilson, the Prime Minister at the time. It was the city’s tallest building for nearly two decades until the NatWest Tower was built in the City of London. The building was mainly used to send signals by television broadcasters. Announced today, BT Group, the tower’s former owners sold the property to MCR Hotels. Moreover, the deal between the two companies states the Grade-II listed building will be preserved for the future.

History on the BT Tower

The tower was designed by the architects Eric Bedford and GR Yeats. It was then commissioned by the General Post Office, the tower served as a main hub for UK communication networks. It also featured a revolving restaurant on its top floor which was open to the public. Additionally, the restaurant made a total turn every 23 minutes, giving diners 360-degree views of the city. The restaurant was temporarily closed after a bomb exploded in a men’s toilet in 1971 on Halloween night, in an attack for which both the IRA and the Angry Brigade group of far-left terrorists claimed responsibility. It shut for good in 1981.

The conversion team

The hotel group says that it is partnering with London-based Heatherwick Studio to consider how best to reimagine its use as a hotel. Later this year, they will submit a planning application.The sale of the building is part of BT Group’s cost-cutting plans. The company already cut the number of offices from more than 300 to 30. That included the sale of its former headquarters, BT Centre, for £210m (US$265m) in 2019. Furthermore, the company has since moved to a new hub in Aldgate, on the edge of the City of London. This latest addition will increase MCR Hotel’s portfolio of around 150 luxury hotels. This includes the High Line Hotel and TWA Hotel in New York inside the former Fight Center at JFK Airport. TWA HOTEL - Updated 2024 Reviews (Queens, NY)

“We are proud to preserve this beloved building and will work to develop proposals to tell its story as an iconic hotel, opening its doors for generations to enjoy,”  Tyler Morse, CEO and owner of MCR Hotels, said. “We see many parallels between the TWA Hotel and the BT Tower. Both are world – renowned, groundbreaking pieces of architecture. It’s been a privilege to adapt the TWA Flight Center into new use for future generations, as it will be the BT Tower.”

Details on the BT Tower hotel conversion

The timeline for the conversion has not yet been announced. BT Group has said they will gradually vacate the building, claiming that moving their heavy equipment will take a couple of years. In the meantime, MCR Hotels will be making payment for the tower in installments and will then take on the conversion of the property.

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