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BT Tower to become landmark London hotel after £275m sale

Simon Calder’s Travel

London’s BT Tower is set to be reimagined as a landmark in the capital’s hotel scene as part of a £275m deal with US hotel developers MCR Hotels.

The telecom giant announced on Wednesday (21 February) that the Grade II listed building had been sold as part of a “simplification” of BT Group’s property portfolio.

It has been over 10 years since the Tower was vital to telecommunications traffic out of London, as network operations shifted to digital and the structure’s microwave aerials were removed.

The BT Tower was London’s tallest structure for 16 years

(Getty Images)

Brent Mathews, property director at BT Group said: “The BT Tower sits at the heart of London and we’ve been immensely proud to be the owners of this important landmark since 1984. It’s played a vital role in carrying the nation’s calls, messages and TV signals, but increasingly we’re delivering content and communication via other means.

“This deal with MCR will enable BT Tower to take on a new purpose, preserving this iconic building for decades to come.”

Prime Minister Harold Wilson opened the UK communication hub in 1965, complete with a revolving top-floor restaurant, open to the public until a suspected IRA explosion in 1971.

Plans are in place for the 177m-tall building, originally named the Post Office Tower, to be preserved as an “iconic” London hotel – the first leisure use of the landmark since the 70s.

The revolving restaurant on the 34th floor in 1965

(Getty Images)

The tower was the city’s tallest structure until 1980 when the 183m-high NatWest Tower (now Tower 42) was built.

Tyler Morse, CEO and owner of MCR Hotels, said: “We are proud to preserve this beloved building and will work to develop proposals to tell its story as an iconic hotel, opening its doors for generations to enjoy.”

MCR already has over 150 hotels in its portfolio, including the historic TWA Hotel, The Lexington and The New Yorker.

The hotel firm said BT will “take a number of years to vacate the premises” due to the complex equipment at the site, with payment for the deal to be made over multiple years.

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