The American Embassy is considering a move away from its world-famous Mayfair home.
The United States Government and its landlord Grosvenor are exploring how to re-locate the American Embassy away from Mayfair’s Grosvenor Square.
The Embassy, a symbol of US influence in London to many Britons, has been a terrorist target since the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, becoming increasingly difficult to manage ever since.
Security blockades have blighted the area, and a move for the Embassy would be welcomed by many high-powered residents.
In a statement the US government told Property Week 'The US Embassy is assessing various property management options, among which are continued posession of its current premises or relocation.
'The US Embassy has made no decisions and is in a very preliminary stage of this process.'
Grosvenor told Property Week: `We confirm we have been talking about the US Embassy’s plans for the Grosvenor Square property. We are considering a range of options.’
West End sources believe that the Embassy and Grosvenor are interested in mounting a joint bid to relocate to Chelsea Barracks, between Sloane Square and the River Thames to the south of the embassy.
Defence Estates is in the process of selling the 12.8 acre site through Drivers Jonas, and has a shortlist of 10, including Hines, Middle Eastern group Emaar, US group Westbrook with Native Land, Quinlan Private and Quintain.
However, the US Government and Grosvenor are not on this list. There has been speculation that the Americans have been pressurising Defence Estates to accept a late bid, but this was denied by Grosvenor and the US Government.
Their statement continued: `We are not one of the shortlisted bidders for Chelsea Barracks, and we do not intend to join the process with other parties.’
Any move away from Grosvenor Square, though, would grab the headlines, with all locations within the West End being within the Americans’ price range – but not necessarily of the size necessary for such a significant move.
The current American Embassy is 225,000 sq ft, and is the only embassy site in the world that the US Government does not own. However, any relocation would require a bigger footprint, given the security considerations.