Hollyood actor-turned-hotelier Robert De Niro’s plans for a luxury central London hotel have been scrapped. Planning permission on The Wellington in Covent Garden had been granted by Westminster Council two years ago, and the 83-bedroom property was expected to open in 2019.
The Evening Standard quote U.S.-based BD Hotels’ founder Ira Drukier as saying that “a changing economic picture” meant that the project was now deemed “marginal,” adding that “if the economics were to change we would be very happy to move forward”.
The Wellington project would have taken over six buildings (three of which are Grade II listed) on a corner of the Strand, Wellington Street, Tavistock Street, Burleigh Street, and Exeter Street. When the proposals were green-lit by the council, De Niro thanked them “for putting their trust in our vision.” But a lot has changed — in the economy (Brexit), and in the property market (sky-rocketing rents and increasing business rates) — since then. Now, it would appear, the numbers do not add up.
A spokesperson for Capco, the Covent Garden landlord, said “We have not reached satisfactory commercial terms with BD Hotels. The Wellington is a unique investment opportunity and we are reviewing our plans, which include proposals for office and retail space.”
- Robert De Niro’s plans for Covent Garden hotel are scrapped [Evening Standard]