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Irish property firm sells London mansion and offices for over £246million

Number 7 and 8 St James Square are among London's most valuable properties Picture: Google street view
Number 8 and 9 St James Square are among London’s most valuable properties (Picture: Google Street View)

IRISH real estate company Green Property has sold two prime London properties to an Asian investor for a total of £246million.

The firm, headed up Dubliners Stephen Vernon and Pat Gunne, completed the sale of 7 and 8 St James Square in Westminster to Asian casino tycoon Stanley Ho.

Mr Ho has been labelled ‘the king of Gambling’ and is the island nation of Macau’s richest man.

Green Property had owned the 400,000-square-foot site since 2008 after it was sold by Allied Irish Bank (AIB).

AIB, which is 99 per cent owned by the Irish State, took a €73million loss on the sale. Its previous owner, convicted Greek fraudster Achilleas Kallakis, was stripped of the property after being jailed for defrauding banks out of £750million.

The properties feature views over London's exclusive St James Square. Picture: Getty Images
The properties feature views over London’s exclusive St James Square. (Picture: Getty Images)

In 2015 Number 8 St James Square was reported to have the highest rent ever paid for an office in Britain at £185 per square foot.

Number 7 St James Square is a 30,000-square-foot Edwin Lutyens-designed mansion that fronts on to St James Square.

Since the mansion was acquired by Green Property in 2008, the building has undergone extensive excavations to make room for a pool, spa and sub-basement car park.

The property also featured its own private courtyard garden.

Mike Tapp, Green Property director, said: “This sale highlights the resilience of very prime London properties in a post (Brexit) referendum environment.

“It is a reflection of the ongoing attractiveness of the West End as a target market for long-term international capital.”

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Aidan Lonergan
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Aidan Lonergan is a Digital Reporter with The Irish Post. You can follow him on Twitter @ajlonergan

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