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UK Crown Estate sells $255 mln London hotel site

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The Crown Estate, which manages the British monarchy’s properties on behalf of the UK government, said on Wednesday it had agreed to sell a hotel development site in London for 130 million pounds ($255.2 million).

The winning bid for the site, near Trafalgar Square, came from Malta-listed International Hotel Investments (IHI) IHI.MT, which counts the Dubai government agency Istithmar among its principal shareholders, a statement said.

The site, which covers the Metropole Building and 10 Whitehall Place, is to be refurbished into a 400,000 square feet (37,160 sq metres) luxury residential apartment block and a five star hotel under the Corinthia Hotels brand.

A spokesman for the Crown Estate said IHI’s bid was not the highest received but was the only one of several which proposed a refurbishment rather than redevelopment behind a retained facade.

The Crown Estate manages assets worth more than 7 billion pounds, including all of Regent Street and the entire seabed under UK territorial waters. All of its surplus revenues are paid directly to the UK Treasury.

See www.reutersrealestate.com for the global service for real estate professionals from Reuters. Editing by Sue Thomas

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