Achilleas Kallakis’s Pacific Group has won planning consent to redevelop an office block into luxury apartments.

The Greek shipping tycoon is to turn the unlisted 1930s building at 8 St James’s Square in London’s St James’s district into six apartments.

The plans, which were granted planning consent by Westminster council last night, will see each floor of the building converted into apartments ranging in size from 3,600 sq ft to 9,150 sq ft.

Exceptional size

Because of the ‘exceptional size’ of the apartments one of the conditions of the consent was that Kallakis pay £4m towards affordable housing – the first payment of its kind for a development of less than ten apartments.

Developers are normally exempt from paying for affordable housing on schemes of less than 10 apartments – but the size of the flats made Kallakis an exception to the rule.

The ground floor of the building will be developed into a restaurant and bar for residents and guests.

Super-prime prices

It is understood that the flats will be some of the most expensive in London with the penthouse being marketed at around £5,000/sq ft.

The most expensive prices recorded so far are at Christian Candy’s CPC’s One Hyde Park – which is achieving more than £5,700/sq ft.

Kallakis bought 7-8 St James Square and 7 Appletree yard for £120m last year from Hermes.

The buildings had been under offer to IVG Asticus for £140m before the deal fell foul of the credit crunch.