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Billionaire wanted: Britain’s second most expensive home hits market for £185m but seller wants single buyer for John Nash-designed 1822 Regent’s Park mansion

  • The huge property overlooks Regent’s Park and it would become the second most expensive British home sale
  • Person with ‘billions’  being sought by property firm Zenprop, with the company expecting interest from Asia
  • Developers have permission to create 26 flats and two houses, though Zeprop want to sell it to an individual 
  • Building was designed by regency architect John Nash, who was also behind design of Buckingham Palace

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An huge mansion that was designed by Buckingham Palace’s architect and overlooks Regents Park has been put on the market for £185 million.

The John Nash-designed property, 1-18 York Terrace East, would become the second most expensive house sale in the UK if bought for the asking price.   

The property firm selling the mansion, built between 1821 and 1826, says a person with ‘billions’ who wants a house in the UK should inquire, with the company’s chief executive expecting interest from Asia, particularly from wealthy Chinese individuals. 

Zenprop is thought to have paid £200million for the mansion four years ago – though its chief executive claims it was actually purchased for less than the current listing price.

Derrick Beare said the sale ‘is not for me to make a return, it’s pretty much to get my money back and move on’.

He added: ‘The current price is a result of Brexit and the pandemic. It should be more, but I don’t think I can get more in this market. It won’t appeal to many people but we only need one person. The kind of person with billions, who wants a place in London.’

1-18 York Terrace East would become the second most expensive house sale in the UK if bought for the asking price of £185 million

1-18 York Terrace East would become the second most expensive house sale in the UK if bought for the asking price of £185 million

The property firm selling the mansion, built between 1821 and 1826, says a person with 'billions' who wants a house in the UK should inquire

The property firm selling the mansion, built between 1821 and 1826, says a person with ‘billions’ who wants a house in the UK should inquire

A prospective buyer had last year considered a bid of more than £200 million for the mansion but had pulled out because of the Brexit negotiations

A prospective buyer had last year considered a bid of more than £200 million for the mansion but had pulled out because of the Brexit negotiations

Planning officials rejected an application to turn the Grade 1-listed building in to 13 townhouses because they would be too big. 

Instead, the developers have planning permission to create 26 flats and two houses, though the property firm wants to sell to individuals. 

Mr Beare told the Financial Times that he estimates £80-90 million needs to be spent transforming the interior, with even more needed if the buyer wants to transform it into flats. 

The roof, floors and non-original stairs would need to be removed and replaced. The gardens facing the park would also have to be dug up as part of the excavation of extra basement space. 

However, Mr Beare insists that there remains interest in the property from very wealthy individuals. 

He said a prospective buyer had last year considered a bid of more than £200 million but pulled out because of the Brexit negotiations. 

The buyer had planned to turn the building in to several very large homes for himself, his sons and their staff. 

The building was completed in 1826 by regency architect Nash who also designed Buckingham Palace, Regent Street and Brighton's Royal Pavilion

The building was completed in 1826 by regency architect Nash who also designed Buckingham Palace, Regent Street and Brighton’s Royal Pavilion

Around £80-90 million needs to be spent transforming the interior, with even more needed if the buyer wants to transform it into flats

Around £80-90 million needs to be spent transforming the interior, with even more needed if the buyer wants to transform it into flats

If the mansion was bought by an individual it would represent the second most expensive house ever sold in the UK

If the mansion was bought by an individual it would represent the second most expensive house ever sold in the UK

The building was completed in 1826 by regency architect Nash who also designed Buckingham Palace, Regent Street and Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. 

The property, which has 117,000 square feet of floor space, previously served as government offices and then student accommodation after it was damaged during the Blitz.

Stephen Lindsay, an agent at Savills who is working on the property, said: ‘Nothing on this scale in such a prime London location has ever come up for sale. Without doubt the most remarkable residential opportunity I’ve ever seen.’

If it was bought by an individual it would represent the second most expensive house ever sold in the UK. 

In January, Chinese property tycoon Cheung Chung-kiu bought a 45-room mansion overlooking Hyde Park for more than £200million.

WHO WAS JOHN NASH AND HOW DID HE COME TO DESIGN BUCKINGHAM PALACE AND REGENT’S PARK? 

John Nash, remembered for his work on Buckingham Palace, Regent’s Park and Regent Street in London, is one of the most famous architects of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

He was born in January 1752 and after an early education received training from the architect Sir Robert Taylor.  

After early education, Nash was trained by the architect Sir Robert Taylor and worked as a surveyor and builder in the city of London. In 1777 Nash established his own business and later inherited £1,000 from an uncle which he decided to risk on the building of houses in Great Russell Street and Bloomsbury Square. The buildings failed to rent out and Nash was declared bankrupt in 1783.

Returning to London in 1797, Nash then designed a number of Gothic castles around the country, in places such as Luscombe Castle in Devon and Caerahays Castle in Cornwall.

Nash soon came under the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV. In 1806 he was appointed Surveyor General of Woods, Forests and Parks and from 1810 onwards worked solely for the prince. By 1813 he had been appointed official architect to the Office of Works, which meant advising parliamentary commissions on things such as new church buildings. This was when he designed Regent’s Park, Buckingham Palace and two theatres in Haymarket.

When George IV died in 1830, Nash lost his royal protector amid a backlash about the extravagance of the King’s reign. Buckingham Palace had cost thousands, millions in today’s terms, and Nash ultimately retired. He died a few years later in May 1835.

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