Candy for Candys

Builder brothers make a killing selling site to Abu Dhabi royalty for £320 million

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The Candy brothers must be laughing all the way to the bank. They bought two Victorian hotels in High Street Kensington for around £69 million, intending to turn them into 100 modernist flats — much to the despair of locals, mourning the loss of their period architecture.

The flats were projected for a sale at £10 million each. The brothers even bought Kingsgate House in the King’s Road to provide the “affordable” element. But hardly had they got their final plans on paper when along came members of the Abu Dhabi royal family and bought the site from the brothers for a breath-stopping £320 million.

The new owners have chosen not to buy Kingsgate House and are said to be looking for a cheaper alternative to offset the approved apartment proposal.

This is stated at 14 one-bedroom units, 12 two-bedroom units, 15 three-bedroom units and two four-bedroom units, with the larger flats being built for social renting for key workers through a housing association.

When asked why they had not insisted on more affordable units to offset the multi-million pound flats, a council spokesman said: “The calculations put forward by the applicant were verified by an independent consultant employed by the Royal Borough. Those calculations showed that the value of the land was affected by the existing viable hotel use and that in the light of this and other considerations relevant to the site, the provision was considered to be acceptable.”

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