U.S. London embassy to move south of River Thames

LONDON, Oct 2 (Reuters) - The U.S. embassy in London is set to move across the River Thames from its historic Mayfair home after the U.S. State Department agreed to buy a development site on the city’s south bank, the embassy said on Thursday.

In a statement, the embassy said it had signed a conditional agreement with privately owned Irish property developer Ballymore to acquire the site in the Nine Elms area of Wandsworth.

“We looked at all our options, including renovation of our current building on Grosvenor Square,” Ambassador Robert Tuttle said.

“In the end, we realised that the goal of a modern, secure and environmentally sustainable embassy could best be met by constructing a new facility.”

The United States has been associated with Grosvenor Square since the late eighteenth century when John Adams, the first United States Minister to the Court of St. James’s and future U.S. President, lived in a house there.

The embassy did not give a time frame for its proposed move and said its agreement with Ballymore depended on U.S. congressional approval and local planning consent. (Reporting by William Kemble-Diaz; Editing by Quentin Bryar) (See for the global service for real estate professionals from Reuters).