London’s Iconic BT Tower Sold for $347 Million, Set to Transform into Hotel

London’s Iconic BT Tower Sold for $347 Million, Set to Transform into Hotel

Owner BT Group PLC said on Wednesday that the BT Tower, a futuristic icon on the London skyline for 60 years, will be turned into a hotel.

Formerly known as British Telecom, the business announced that it had reached a deal to sell the tower to MCR Hotels, a U.S. corporation, for 275 million pounds, or roughly $347 million.

When it was finished in 1964, the 581-foot (177-meter) building—originally known as the Post Office Tower—was the highest structure in London until 1980. The height was increased by another segment of aerial rigging to 620 feet (189 meters).

Surrounded by microwave aerials that provided communications throughout the United Kingdom, the tower also contained a revolving restaurant with 360-degree views of London. Apart from special occasions and sporadic tours, it never fully reopened to the public.

Over time, advancements in technology have gradually rendered the original use of the tower in Britain’s communications network obsolete. Over ten years ago, its microwave aerials were dismantled.

“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,” said Brent Mathews, property director at BT Group. “This deal with MCR will enable BT Tower to take on a new purpose, preserving this iconic building for decades to come.”

About 150 hotels are owned by MCR Hotels, including the futuristic TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport and the New Yorker Hotel. The business announced that it would collaborate on the hotel’s design with British architect Thomas Heatherwick.

Travelers shouldn’t, however, schedule reservations just yet. The hotel company stated that because of the complicated technology on the property, BT’s removal will “take a number of years.”

Sanchita Patil

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