Discussion in 'MoD News' started by MoD_RSS, Aug 19, 2013.
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Great timing - mark the centenary of WW1 by, err, flogging off the Army headquarters during WW1. Of course, finding an appropriate buyer in the current climate for a Grade I listed building with a history of major asbestos problems will be an absolute doddle...
Its an utterly awful building, neglected for decades and is probably the most unpleasant working environment I've ever had. The sooner people are out of there the better - there is no trace of its history anymore, and beyond the lovely 2nd floor staircase, the rest of it is like every other government building out there - old, damp, mouldy, ancient furniture and a sense that the cold war has yet to begin, let alone end...
Any news on the sale of Hyde Park Bks and the repurchase of Chelsea Bks, land values being what they are in London?
They will probably sell it for far less than it is worth, and some middleman will make a killing by selling it on to a hotel chain.
And they think they are commercially "smart".
"As a result of our work to make MOD leaner, more professional and more efficient, we are able to concentrate defence officials in London in a single building and sell the Old War Office."
Has anybody noticed the same bullshit coming up time after time i.e. leaner, more professional, blah?
Never ever ever sell high value assets in prime locations.
Its commercial stupidity on a grand scale.
Joint ventures, leasing, profit sharing, whatever. But never ever sell off prime assets.
They're saving money by just having the one press release.
It will go to a hotel chain.
Shame in many ways. Family jewels and all that. Plus as said it is in such a prime location, Charles I was executed next door, nice gee-gees opposite. Nelson at one end, HP at the other. Go for 100mil in current climate? Not a lot considering the MOD budget and loss.
The question of value is what state the building is in and how much work is required to make it viable for a new role. Anyone who has been in it knows what poor shape it is in now. The issue is taking an office and turning it into luxury hotel - the cost of this will drive the offers mod get for it.
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Totally agree, genuinely. Even more reason not to flog it off as it's a sh*t state. A friend of mine works there and has kept me abreast of developments.
Yeah, but think about the chairs they could buy with the money.
I was there for the transition from MB to Metropole. My boss (now CDS) was not impressed.
"Oy Doris, why have we got an office overlooking some effing heating pipes, and MO3 can actually see the street?".
MB is apparently all glammed up now.
With nice chairs and stuff.
I'm a civvie now, so I don't care what all my taxes have been spent on.
Oh, hang on.......
Stan - I've spent most of my career in that building and will be genuinely saddened to see it go. But the MOD is in an impossible position here - keep it on and you face a very large bill to refurbish it to acceptable modern standards - the figure involved is likely to run into the tens of millions once you consider the deferred maintance needing fixing, and to just get it to a normal state. Do you want to see that kind of money spent on an MOD office block or on modern equipment?
Alternatively MOD can get rid of it 'as is' accepting they may not get as much as if it were refurbished, but saving £80 million over 10 years isn't small change, and it also reduces the footprint of the London estate (which tabloids will like).
The issue for office space in London is that the MOD is vastly smaller than in the early 1990s when we had 18 buildings in London, and even today MB is seemingly half empty at times. We dont have enough people to fill MB, so why keep two office buildings when the budget is stretched (and before you ask, yes the OGD moving in option was considered and rejected, almost certainly on grounds of cost - see my point about the cost of refurb).
Jim - Well I'm sure you're in the know more than I am. Yes it must be an impossible position for MOD which is a shame to see these things happen, sign of the times. I'd admit that MB isn't all that either. Bit of a merecat heaven but most office blocks are these days, I'm lucky mine is pretty good, open but not individually boxed in plus I 'work' mainly at home. I'm sure OWO will make someone very happy/rich.
It'll be interesting to see what proposals emerge for OWOB. I agree with Jim that the building's a mess at present, but so were Northumberland and Metropole buildings when they were vacated and handed back to the original owners. They both look spectacular now, inside and out, so transformations can be achieved if there's the will (and the private money).
I also hope the developers make a good job of Admiralty Arch - the location is fantastic but I'm surprised they can make enough rooms out of it to create a worthwhile hotel. At least OWOB has size in its favour.
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