Whitbread plans hotels for County Hall
Wednesday 06 December 1995
The brewing company Whitbread has signed a deal with Shirayama Shokusan, the Japanese owners of the building on the South Bank, to develop a 200- room, four star Marriott hotel and a 318-room Travel Inn budget hotel.
Alan Parker, managing director of Whitbread's hotel division, said prices at the budget hotel would be pitched at just over pounds 40 a night for a room sleeping up to four people.
Staying at the Marriott, however, will be more expensive. Rates at the Marriott in Grosvenor Square start at pounds 140 a night for four.
Leisure analysts at City stock broking firms said Whitbread had secured one of the best hotel sites that has become available in London for years. "In terms of location, being opposite the House of Parliament, it couldn't be better," one said.
There was some scepticism, however, that the deal would be concluded. Ken Livingstone, MP and former GLC leader,said: "We've had three years of Shirayama announcing this and that and nothing's happened. It's been a series of gimmicks."
Whitbread is confident thehotels will be up and running in 1998, even though Mac Okamoto, European director of Shirayama, injected caution into yesterday's announcement.
Asked whether the Whitbread deal would founder, as did previous hotel plans with Richard Branson's Virgin group, he said: "Nothing is certain in this world. It is like marriage. Who can stop someone who wants divorce? We have exchanged a contract agreement, and anyone can terminate it."
Whitbread will occupy 360,000 sq ft of space in the north wing, and an aquarium being built in the basement by Shirayama will absorb a further 200,000 of the building's total 1.2 million sq ft of space. There are also plans for shops and more leisure facilities.
County Hall has been empty since Baroness Thatcher abolished the GLC a decade ago. "The fact that it's remained empty is the scandal," Mr Livingstone said.
Shirayama, a property development company, bought the 1920s building in 1992 for pounds 60m. Financial details of the deal with Whitbread, which is taking a 75-year lease, are not being disclosed.
- 1 Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...