Great Northern Hotel set to be luxury boutique hotel as King’s Cross Central selects development consortium

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Posted: Friday 25th September 2009

  • A consortium assembled and led by RAM, has been selected to redevelop the Great Northern Hotel as a luxury limited service boutique hotel, at King’s Cross.
  • The 19th Century Grade II listed building will be restored, refurbished and brought stunningly back to life in good time for the London Olympics in 2012.
  • King’s Cross retains freehold ownership of the hotel, granting a 125-year lease to the RAM consortium.

A new boutique hotel, complete with 94 luxury bedrooms, a bar and restaurant, is set to open in late 2011 in the unrivalled location of King’s Cross. The RAM-led consortium has been selected by King’s Cross – a partnership between Argent King’s Cross Limited Partnership, London & Continental Railways and DHL – to refurbish and recreate the unique Great Northern Hotel following a six month selection process run by CBRE Hotels.

Oxford Hotels will be the development manager, working with MACE and GB Building Solutions Ltd as construction providers. They will begin work on refurbishing the Victorian-built Great Northern Hotel early next year. The hotel, which first opened in 1854, sits at the southern end of the 67 acre regeneration site and is ideally located for both King’s Cross station and St Pancras International, with connections to mainland Europe and the rest of the UK.

Oxford will manage the refurbishment and fit-out of the iconic building, which will open its doors to guests in time for the London 2012 Olympics. King’s Cross and the hotel consortium will work together to achieve the necessary planning and listed building consents from Camden Council, in close cooperation with English Heritage.

David Partridge, Joint Chief Executive of Argent, the asset and development manager of King’s Cross, said:

“The Great Northern Hotel was the first of the great railway hotels built at the height of the Victorian era. Back then it was chic, elegant and located in a vibrant part of the capital. Fast forward 150 years. In recent times the hotel’s glamour has faded somewhat, but it is now set to become chic, elegant and an integral part of a vibrant, dynamic area of central London once again.”

Jeremy Robson, Managing Partner of RAM, said:

“This project is arguably the most attractive hotel development in London for many years. We are delighted to have worked with KCCLP and to have assembled and led an incredibly talented and experienced consortium. We have demonstrated that transactions of this calibre can be originated and funded even in the most turbulent of market conditions. ”

Simon Wood, Director of Oxford Hotels, said:

“We love this hotel project, which will be the gateway into King’s Cross, a vibrant new London Quarter, and to Europe via St Pancras International. The hotel has an abundance of charm, evoking Betjeman, quintessential British style and the halcyon days of travel. We promise to create a luxury limited service hotel that is cool and contemporary yet evokes a timeless elegance. It will be an intimate oasis in London’s busiest transport hub, with a breathtaking 125 million annual passenger footfall.”

Chris Rouse, Director of CBRE Hotels, said:

“It’s great to have achieved a deal in the most difficult development environment that most of us can remember. All parties were committed to the vision and in securing a mutually acceptable alignment of all the interests.”

Since March 2008, works have been underway on the Great Northern Hotel to create a pedestrian arcade at the ground floor level of the hotel. This pedestrian arcade will contain retail use, a new entrance to the Great Northern Hotel itself and a link to the new concourse to King’s Cross station that is currently being constructed by Network Rail. This phase of the works is due to be completed by the end of 2009, ready for Oxford Hotels to start the refurbishment early next year.

The King’s Cross partners will retain the freehold ownership of the Great Northern Hotel with the consortium signing up to a 125 year long leasehold arrangement.

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