More elsewhere

The president is absolutely correct that the old location on Grosvenor Square in Mayfair was delightful, absolutely in the beating heart of London. The new one at Nine Elms is an old industrial estate on the unfashionable, southern side of the river. But that’s the entire point of the move, an odd thing for a real estate expert to miss. Buildings that people have to go to should be in cheap parts of the city, and we can leave the expensive places to the people willing to pay higher prices.

21 comments on “More elsewhere

  1. An ambassador represents his country, but so does the embassy. Maybe Trump thinks that a warehouse in South London is not the ideal representation of the United States of America.

  2. How easily defensible is it? Access to the Thames for easy escape?

    Anyway the old embassy in Mayfair is a remarkably ugly building, rendered even worse by the tank traps surrounding it and the permanent crowd of SWPers and Muslims protesting outside it.

  3. @Quentin

    +1

    Also, Diplomats need to mingle with politicians, Gov’t offices, CEOs and other country’s diplomats

    If location was irrelevant, embassies would be in Carlisle and highlands of Scotland

  4. Pcar – you mean like the US shifting its Israel embassy quite some distance from other country’s diplomats?

  5. PCar, yeah, “Buildings that people have to go to should be in cheap parts of the city” looks wrong, should be “parts of the city that are cheap to get to”, which suggests that the functions of an Embassy should be split according it’s users’ requirements; so people with government expense accounts can go to an expensive building in an exclusive part of town, since they’re going to spunk the money up the wall anyway, and the rest of us proles can get our visas from a warehouse on an industrial estate just off the M40.

  6. How easily defensible is it? Access to the Thames for easy escape?

    The new one is next door to MI6..;) whichever way that works…

  7. How easily defensible is it? Access to the Thames for easy escape?
    IIRC, it actually has a moat. Maybe even sharks, who knows?

  8. I notice a lot of businesses want their head quarters to be in the centre of London. No doubt that is partly because the shopping is easier for their wives. But also because it is easier for customers to get to.

    Cheap real estate is not everything. Even businesses without obvious customers often tend to cluster in the centre of London. A lot of the City had this question when Canary Wharf opened. Some moved. Some did not.

  9. Being in London they should be able to reduce their heating bills by burning the bodies of the previous nights stabbing victims in their furnace.

    The only expense would be having to collect said bodies before the Police roll up after daybreak. Not too difficult from what I hear.

  10. Depends what you think an embassy’s for. A lot of countries seem to feel it’s about prestige & like their embassies in the most expensive area they can afford. No sign of the Russians moving out of Kensington Palace Gardens.
    There’s a lot of people think there was a move to reduce US prestige in the world, while the Home Boy was squatting in Pennsylvania Ave.

  11. Judging by the massive queues I used to see as I walked past the old embassy twice a day I don’t think it will be long before all sorts of businesses are popping up round the new one to support them and embassy staff. This will be followed by new bus routes and maybe even a tube extension.

    Perhaps Nine Elms won’t become the new Mayfair but who’d bet against it becoming a thriving location in 10 years?

  12. The new tube is already going in. The Battersea extension is Battersea and then also Nine Elms. Paid for, mostly, by the developers of Battersea power station into flats.

  13. Nine Elms has changed radically in the past ten years, even the past five. Huge redevelopment of the 500m strip alongside the Thames. It even has a Waitrose.

  14. The new location is fine. In some ways, it’s nicer than the old location. OK, nine elms isn’t Mayfair but the latter has choked streets and the new place does have a river view. And although south of the river it’s easier to get to Westminster too – it’s not a Canary Wharf sort of location.

    It’s not an industrial district any more, that was kind of the point. And the new building is bigger and, presumably, better, if not historic.

  15. “Paid for, mostly, by the developers of Battersea power station into flats.”

    Really? Explains why everyone who’s had a crack at Battersea has gone bust, I suppose.

  16. @So Much For Subtlety, May 1, 2018 at 12:46 am

    +1

    A firm I worked had their Head Office on Oxford Street – floors 2 to top. It was for ease of access for customers and staff from UK, EU, USA etc

  17. If you want your head office to have ease of access for furriners, you’d put it in Gatwick business park.

  18. @jgh

    I included the word “staff”. Also, “furriners” and others are incentivised to visit as they can do some shopping, sight-seeing, theatre too.

    I often had friends/relatives using the spare bed in my hotel room. Made boring after-work more enjoyable. Free B&B at Gatwick would have had no draw.

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