China Agrees to Buy Complex Near Tower of London for Embassy

(Bloomberg) -- China agreed to buy an office complex on the edge of the City of London financial district and plans to turn it into its new embassy for the U.K.

The sale price for the complex, which includes the former Royal Mint, wasn’t disclosed in a statement Friday from the vendors, Delancey and LRC Group. The site, across from the Tower of London, has planning approval to build more office space than the nearby Gherkin skyscraper, as well as retail space.

The current Chinese embassy is near Regent’s Park, in London’s Marylebone district. Embassies have been moving out of such West End neighborhoods in recent years because of restrictions on historic buildings, which make it easier to construct secure offices elsewhere. The U.S. embassy has moved from Mayfair to Nine Elms, south of the river Thames, a decision that President Donald Trump has criticized.

“We have been working with the Chinese Embassy for many years to identify a suitable site for its new headquarters,” Paul Nicholls, a senior director at broker CBRE Group Inc., said in the statement. “The embassy has been patient and considered in its search for a location that meets all its requirements and supports its vision to create a campus of such significant global strategic importance.”

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