With the American Embassy set to relocate from Mayfair to Nine Elms, it leaves in its wake a great opportunity to invest in one of Mayfair’s loveliest properties, the Little White House
Words: Mark Kebble
I recently visited Washington DC for the first time and, during days and days of taking in all the sights, the one that arguably underwhelmed me the most was the White House. For a start, President Obama wasn’t home and, peering at it past security cordons, I thought it all seemed a little, well, small. Ironically, the Little White House in Mayfair had the opposite effect on me.
Everything about the property at 4 Blackburne’s Mews is fascinating. Known locally as the Little White House due to its white façade, grand 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue style entrance hall and sweeping staircases, the property currently sits inside the American Embassy’s security cordon, which means to access it you have to have an identity card and get used to patrolling US marines, 24-hour British police presence, checkpoints, anti-tank blocks and CCTV security. Little wonder it’s seen as ‘the most protected private home in Britain’.
Little wonder it’s seen as ‘the most protected private home in Britain’
However, that’s all set to change when the American Embassy relocates to Nine Elms, providing Blackburne’s Mews and the vacant Embassy with the biggest urban renewal and capital value uplift opportunity since the 1960s, with the location being transformed into a five star hotel and luxury resort. This will provide 137 bedrooms and suites, ballroom, health spa, five restaurants/bars and six retail boutiques, with new public entrances fronting onto Grosvenor Square and Blackburne’s Mews.
This will lead to another chapter in the history of 4 Blackburne’s Mews. Running north to south, Blackburne’s Mews is accessed from Upper Grosvenor Street and Upper Brook Street, with Culcross Street forming a subsidiary arm of the thoroughfare. The mews is located directly adjacent to the rear of the American Embassy, whose front façade overlooks Grosvenor Square. The Little White House dates back to 1732, with major reconstruction undertaken in 1926-28 by West End architects William Forsyth and Hugh Maule.
What exactly will £2.5m buy you? 2,773 sq ft of living space and a sweeping staircase that takes you up to a double reception room on the first floor
Fast forward to today and what exactly will £2.5m buy you? Step inside and take in 2,773 sq ft of living space over the lower ground, ground, first and second floors. As previously mentioned, the grand entranceway is stunning and instantly takes your breathe away. The sweeping staircase takes you up to a double reception room on the first floor, which clearly offers the ideal opportunity to entertain and provides fantastic natural light.
On the ground floor is a formal dining room, with doors opening onto a communal garden, and a large family kitchen/breakfast room. Elsewhere there are four bedroom suites, each with fitted storage and en-suite bath/shower rooms, a guest cloakroom and a utility/storage room. There is an intriguing feeling of cosiness, but also of luxury and expanse.
It’s no surprise that local estate agents are getting excited about this opportunity. ‘The Little White House provides the adroit buyer with an outstanding and unique long term investment and lifestyle opportunity,’ comments Peter Wetherell, Chief Executive of Wetherell.
‘The transformed Embassy building will become London’s next Claridge’s or Connaught Hotel, with the purchaser having the benefit of living right on the doorstep. The resort’s restaurants, bars, health spa and boutiques will be one of the “must visit” destinations in Mayfair, and the urban renewal programme has the potential to give huge uplift to property values in the local area.’
From the most protected home to arguably the biggest opportunity in the Mayfair property market, one thing is for sure: this is overwhelming for the area.
The Little White House is on sale for £2,500,000 (leasehold). Contact sole agent Wetherell on 020 7529 5566 or see wetherell.co.uk