Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pounds Sterling]200m Home Fit for Second-Richest Man

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

[Pounds Sterling]200m Home Fit for Second-Richest Man

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Prynn Consumer Business Editor

A HUGE home in west London could be worth up to [pounds sterling]200 million after being lavishly refurbished by Britain's secondrichest man.

Russian-born tycoon Leonid Blavatnik is close to completing a two-year modernisation of the grade II*-listed house in Europe's most exclusive street, Kensington Palace Gardens.

Agents believe the finished property, on the tree lined avenue known as "billionaire's row", could be worth as much as [pounds sterling]7,000 per square foot if it were to come on the market. That would eclipse the [pounds sterling]6,000-per-squarefoot pinnacle at the Candy Brothers' apartment block One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge -- and value it close to [pounds sterling]200 million.

Estate agents who have seen the 13-bedroom property called it "mind-boggling".

Giles Hannah, managing director of Mayfair based VanHan, said: "It is one of the best on the street, with a particularly large garden and fantastic views overlooking the lawns of Kensington Palace, where the Duchess of Cambridge will be pushing her pram. He's doing it to a phenomenal standard. It has vast ceiling heights. All the windows have armoured glass."

The 27,000 square foot Italianate villa, described by English Heritage as "one of the finest buildings" on the street, will have a 25-metre swimming pool, divided between indoor and outdoor sections by "sliding glazed panels."

Computer images seen by the Standard show the exterior pool ending in a secret "grotto" under the rear terrace. Property experts said a pool that lets the owner swim from a basement to outdoors was probably unique in central London.

The basement has a hot tub, gym, massage room, cinema and wine cellar. A "multi-storey" underground car park is served by a car lift with room for five vehicles. …

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