A new owner is being sought for the storied Bow Street magistrates court in London’s Covent Garden.
The Grade II-listed Victorian building – which has hosted high profile cases including Oscar Wilde and East End gangsters, the Kray Twins – was snapped up by Austrian hoteliers Rudolf and Christian Ploberger in 2008. They obtained planning permission to convert it into a 99-bedroom five-star boutique hotel in December 2014.
The pair have now decided to sell the site for £75m after being approached by several prospective buyers and joint-venture partners.
Bow Street magistrates court was constructed in 1879 and operated until 2006. Over the decades, the Greco-Roman style building’s case list has included a who’s who of London history, from suffragettes Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst to murderer Dr Crippen.
Building contracts are already in place to turn the landmark into a hotel. When completed, the 90,000 sq ft structure will include a restaurant and bar, which an unnamed Michelin-starred chef is reported to be interested in running. Four bedrooms will be formed from the existing police cells.
The hotel could open as early as 2017.