OWO Residences by Raffles: historic London building where royalty lived and 'James Bond' was filmed – international property of the week

Two-bedroom apartments at OWO Residences by Raffles start at $8.2 million

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Look inside the OWO Residences by Raffles in London, a Grade II*-listed building that is being converted into 85 stunning and unique properties in the heart of the British capital.

The key details

The OWO Residences by Raffles in Whitehall is a development of 85 properties, starting from £5.8 million ($8.2m) for a two-bedroom.

The properties are set to be completed in 2022 and will be sold unfurnished, with many original features still in place.

The residences will be located adjacent to the British capital’s first Raffles hotel with 125 rooms and suites, a collection of nine restaurants and bars, and a spa.

Dramatic interiors inside The OWO Residences by Raffles. Courtesy The OWO Residences by Raffles

What's the story?

The OWO Residences by Raffles is a new development in the heart of London, marrying modern luxuries with centuries of history.

Located on Whitehall, it is the first European residence from the Singaporean hotel brand. Within the OWO Residences by Raffles are 85 residences, each with a unique design within the Grade II*-listed building, which has been closed to the public for more than a century.

The development is steeped in history. Formerly the site of the original Palace of Whitehall, home to Henry VIII, in years since, it's gone on to inspire Ian Fleming in the writing of his James Bond novels.

The grand architecture has lent itself to the Bond film series as a shooting location, and more recently, served as a set for Netflix's royal drama, The Crown. 

The properties will be sold unfurnished, with ceiling heights that reach up to 4.4 metres and full-length windows to match. They boast bespoke kitchens from British brand Smallbone of Devizes, with Waterworks brass ironmongery and Onyx marble. Many properties still have original heritage features, such as oak panelling and mosaic flooring.

Adjacent to the residence will be a 125-room Raffles Hotel with amenities that can be used by residents. However, the residences will have privacy from hotel guests, with 30,000 square feet of amenities for the exclusive use of owners.

Many properties still have original heritage features, such as oak panelling and mosaic flooring. Courtesy The OWO Residences by Raffles

What the brokers say ...

What kind of buyer will be attracted to the OWO Residences by Raffles?

I think we will see a really broad spectrum of buyers both domestically and internationally. However what they will all have in common is their desire for a "best in class product", purchasing a piece of history and heritage in the heart of central London, and seeking a five-star turnkey service from the comfort of their own home.

What makes Whitehall such a desirable neighbourhood?

As powerful global addresses go, this has to be right up there as one of the most famous. Whitehall has amazing history and heritage with the House of Lords and Westminster Abbey at one end, followed by Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery at the other. In the middle of Whitehall and opposite The OWO there is the world-famous Horse Guards and, beyond, you have access to the 57 acres of St James’s Park – all of which is less than 30 seconds' walk from your front door.

An aerial view The OWO Residences by Raffles. Courtesy Grain London

Which areas of London are international buyers most attracted to?

I think international buyers are most focused on central locations that allow you to walk to shopping areas such as Bond Street and the cultural attractions such as the National Gallery, and be close to one of the amazing royal parks. We are very lucky in London with the number of beautiful parks we have, and buyers certainly from the GCC region really appreciate the ability to be able to walk everywhere, which is often difficult to do in the hotter summer months back home.

How has the London property market been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic?

I think there is a real sense of pent-up demand for London property. In essence, we have seen the market being put on hold for 18 months due to the pandemic and the travel restrictions that have been in place. I believe when these restrictions are eased, we will see a huge surge of demand for the best London properties.

Moreover since the pandemic, I believe a lot of buyers are looking for a London home which will have a five-star service and amenities on their doorstep. Having endured lockdown, many people now want to ensure they get to experience the very best of London, and with the nine restaurants on site at The OWO, this will certainly be an  attracting factor.

Does the history of the building appeal to prospective buyers?

The building does indeed have this amazing history, and it is certainly an appealing factor. This isn’t just another glass and steel skyscraper, but a beautifully restored Grade II*-listed building. This is why every one of the 85 residences is completely unique, and as such a lot of buyers feel they are buying into a piece of history which can almost be seen as a collectible.

- Charlie Walsh, head of residential sales and marketing, The OWO Residences by Raffles, London, theowo.london