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Russian billionaire purchases £15m London mansion as market reopens

On the back of the London housing market being restarted, Beauchamp Estates has successfully sold a £15.45 million mansion at 26 Old Queen Street on behalf of the seller, the Canadian-based Benisti Family Office.

The buyer was an ultra-high-net-worth Russian billionaire.

At £15.45 million, the sale of 26 Old Queen Street, which overlooks St James’s Park, is the largest single residential sale completed during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown period, as well as setting a new price record for the local St James’s marketplace.

The property exchanged and completed on Friday 15 May, following the restarting of the London housing market on Wednesday 13 May.

The 6,573 sq ft, five-bedroom townhouse-mansion was sold by the Canadian Benisti family, via their Benisti Family Office, while the buyer was a Russian billionaire, in his 40s, with his girlfriend and children from a previous marriage. The buyer owns a leading energy group.

Gary Hersham, founding director of Beauchamp Estates, was the agent who brokered the deal.

The Russian buyer had a huge budget of £25 million and wanted a home in Prime Central London, between the River Thames and Marble Arch. He also wanted something inside Brompton Road/Harrods to the west and Tottenham Court Road to Trafalgar Square in the east.

The buyer and his girlfriend looked at a house in Belgravia, priced at £2,800 per sq ft, and a smaller house in Mayfair priced at £5,500 per sq ft, before reaching an agreement to purchase 26 Old Queen Street on March 20, just prior to the lockdown. On Wednesday May 13, they were able to reinspect the house and the lawyers finalised the deal, which completed on Friday May 15.

With the help of interior design by Nicola Fontanella of Argent Design – who has previously acted as interior designer for Madonna, Guy Ritchie and Naomi Campbell – the lavish town-mansion has three large reception rooms, study, library, five bedroom suites, club room with rooftop terrace, wine/champagne store and private rear garden overlooking St James’s Park and Palace.

Jeremy Gee, managing director of Beauchamp Estates, commented: “The sale of 26 Old Queen Street for £15.5 million during the London lockdown is the largest single residential sale during this period. It shows confidence in the Prime London market. This is not an isolated sale above £10 million, and we have been encouraged by the ongoing activity at the top end of the market.”

He added: “The vendors, The Benisti Family Office, are so confident about the super-prime London market that they have placed the adjacent mansion at 28 Old Queen Street on the market, which they also own, and [we] are confident that we will sell or let this outstanding property over the next few months.”

He said London is a global property market, a ‘property island’ distinctive from the rest of the UK. The jewel in the crown, he claims, is Prime Central London, which has always attracted ultra-wealthy buyers from across the globe and ‘will continue to do so’.

“This ultra-top end of the market was busy at the start of the 2020 after the Boris bounce. Activity continued during the lockdown, and now the market has been restarted, we forecast a busy few months as pent-up demand is released.”

Russian billionaire purchases £15m London mansion as market reopens

Set in St James’s Park, with the rear façade with bay windows and garden overlooking Birdcage Walk and the Royal park, the Old Queen Street townhouse-mansion at No 28 is located between Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Westminster. It was originally built in 1770 and completely refurbished and modernised in 2015.

The No 10 Downing Street-style black-brick Georgian townhouse-mansion has been given a dramatic makeover inside and offers luxurious living space over eight floors, including the original Piano Nobile floors that accommodate the grand reception rooms, white limestone staircase, passenger lift to all floors, champagne/wine store, private cinema/media room with terrace, and a private garden adjacent to the Royal park.

Buyers and their representatives can have a first viewing of the mansion-townhouse through a state-of-the-art, three dimensional, 360 degree Matterport ‘virtual viewing’ tour of Old Queen Street, whilst engaging with the sales agents on a Zoom video.

This allows prospective buyers to have a remote tour and discussion with the agents from the comfort of their own home/office before deciding on having a physical viewing with the new Covid-19 safeguarding procedures in place.

The newly launched mansion-townhouse at 28 Old Queen Street is for sale for £17,750,000. To book a physical viewing or remote ‘virtual tour’ of Old Queen Street, contact Beauchamp Estates on +44 (0)20 7499 7722 or londonsales@beauchamp.com. Alternatively, you can visit www.beauchamp.com.

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