Wetherell is pleased to provide details of No.7 Balfour Place in Mayfair, a magnificent Grade II listed property, originally built in 1892-4 as a single 13,091 sqft (1,216 sqm) residence, which is for sale for £45 million and could be converted into one of London’s most magnificent new mansions.

No.7 Balfour Place was designed in 1891 by Eustace Balfour (1854-1911) – the Grosvenor Estate’s Chief Surveyor and Architect – and built as a magnificent Arts & Crafts style mansion. It has a five storey brick façade with stone dressings and elegant gables and distinguished by a double-storey stone porche with twinned columns and a grand open loggia at first floor level.

The property at No.7 has a fascinating history. Its designer, Eustance Balfour, a Fellow of the RIBA, was incredibly ambitious and well connected. His mother was the daughter of the 2nd Marquess of Salisbury; his brother Arthur was Prime Minister and his wife Lady Frances Campbell was the daughter of the Duke of Argyll and favorite niece of the 1st Duke of Westminster (she got Eustance the job of Chief Surveyor to his Grosvenor Estate).

The 1st Duke of Westminster favoured the domestic revival style of architecture so to please him Balfour designed eight mansions on the site of Balfour Place, with the aim of creating the grandest Arts & Craft style homes ever built in London.

The completed mansion was magnificent. There was an extensive lower ground floor for kitchens and staff. The ground floor had a vast entrance hall and three grand reception rooms. The first floor had another three large entertaining rooms, with eight family bedrooms on the second and third floors, and staff accommodation and storage on the fourth and top fifth floor.

The site of Eustance’s new mansions was originally known as Portugal Street (a tribute to the Portuguese wife of King Charles II), but the Grosvenor family renamed the street Balfour Place in honour of their Chief Surveyor.

No.7 then had a variety of owners including several industrialists, a Dowager Countess and a City of London metal-trader magnate. However the most famous person to covet the property never actually owned or lived in it. On 11th August 1978 the then 27 year old shipping heiress Christina Onassis (1950-1988) flew into London on her private jet for a lightening one day tour of houses in Mayfair and Belgravia.

Since the early 1970s Christina had owned a three bedroom apartment in Reeves Mews in Mayfair but since the start of 1978 she had wanted a larger property in the capital. Alas No.7 never became ‘Onassis House” since at that time one of the properties in Balfour Place was being rented by the DeGrimston family, Process Church followers, but said by gossips to be cult worshipers.

The property world thrives on excitement and so Christina’s Mayfair tour did not go unnoticed. There was a flurry of newspaper publicity and speculation following the Greek heiress’s visit and the press called the DeGrimston property “Satan’s Cave”. With publicity like this Christina understandably got cold feet and decided to keep Reeves Mews.

Eventually in 1991 No.7 was converted into six apartments and it is this internal configuration that is currently being offered for sale. The flats range from 1,255 sqft up to 2,583 sqft in size, offering two to four bedrooms.

The property is currently income producing and is for sale on a freehold basis. It could be acquired as a rental investment, refurbished to provide luxury apartments or reinstated as a single residence (subject to the usual planning consents).

Wetherell highlight that as a single residence, designed and specified to a luxurious ultra-prime finish, and interior designed and presented to sell to an international market, No.7 could be worth anything from £52 million (based on £4,000 per sqft valuation) up to £65 million (based on a £5,000 per sqft valuation). Such a transformation has the potential to generate a lucrative return for a discerning purchaser acquiring the property in its current configuration.

Peter Wetherell, Chief Executive of Wetherell said: “No.7 Balfour Place is one of the most magnificent Arts & Craft mansions in London. Built as a trophy property within the historic Grosvenor Estate it benefits from a prestigious Mayfair address, elegant architecture and rooms with princely proportions. As apartments it could be used as an investment to generate rental income, reinstated into a single residence, it could create one of London’s finest mega-mansions, an outstanding home of world class quality and refined provenance.”

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