It has been an interesting two years for Scotland Yard, one of Britain’s great institutions. In December 2014, the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, New Scotland Yard on Broadway, was sold for 370 million pounds to a Middle East investor. The current 600,000 square-foot building will be demolished and replaced by low-income housing. Only kidding. Rising from the debris will be luxury apartments along with shops and offices of a similar height to the existing building so that views of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, and the London Eye will be preserved.
According to The Guardian, Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “Police funding continues to be under extreme pressure. We…need to be making savings of up to £1.4bn by the end of the next spending review, including some £600m which we will have delivered by 2015/16. This is equivalent to a third of the Met’s original budget so this money is absolutely vital to us… Scotland Yard is moving to a smaller headquarters in the Curtis Green Building on the Victoria Embankment. The move will save £6m a year in running costs. The sale proceeds will be used to kit out bobbies on the beat with tablets, smartphones and body cameras.”*
The good news is that the sale will help to pay for a display of crime memorabilia currently stored at the Black Museum which dates back to the Met’s beginning in 1829 and includes a letter from… Yes, you guessed it, Jack the Ripper. The Service’s famous sign will move to the Yard’s new digs.
In 2015, an older Scotland Yard building was sold. Great Scotland Yard (at left) served as the headquarters for the Metropolitan Police for sixty-one years until 1890. In July, the original Victorian-era red-brick edifice was sold to Indian billionaire Yusuffali Kader for 110 million pounds. It will be converted into a five-star hotel with a planned opening in the first half of 2017. The interior will be gutted and only the exterior façade will remain. It is reported that the most expensive suite will be rented for as much as ten-thousand pounds a night. Be sure to get your reservations in early.
*“Daylight robbery? New Scotland Yard is bought for £370m by developer,” The Guardian Online, December 9, 2014.