The US Embassy is up for sale. At somewhere between 130,000 and 280,000 square feet depending on which reports you read, the place would make a lovely Mayfair residence for a large family (space for about 750 people, at the last count). And all this only for £90m or so, according to the BBC.
In April the Embassy proudly announced it had finally succeeded in securing "100% certifiable green energy". This work had taken over a year of dedicated effort - and yet within days they are trying to selling it off. This timing smacks of bad planning, surely? Just like taking on a 999-year lease and selling it on with 94% of it left to run, for example.
This new-found US environmentalism sticks in Londonist's throat a little, and dredges up memories of selling our run-down Hackney flat in the 90s and realising that we would improve the sale value by finally sorting out the dribbling scaled-up shower, cracked leaky windows and light bulbs that flickered so much they gave you epileptic fits. Perhaps the Ambassador had the House Doctor round and she made them spruce the place up a bit?
With the US refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol, we did some digging and found the real reason for the green energy moves: "by using green energy, the Embassy is no longer required to pay the climate change levy, resulting in about £18,000 in savings annually". This fits neatly alongside the refusal to pay the congestion charge like the rest of us.
Rumours remain unconfirmed that Ferreo Rocher might bid for the Embassy as a venue to host elaborate parties for the cream of London society and serve precarious-looking glued pyramids of cheap chocolates individually wrapped in tacky golden paper. If you want to put a bid in, don't use googlemaps to get directions - as previously reported by Londonist, moves to fool any trigger-happy googlemap enthusiasts in Al-Qaeda mean that the site thinks the Embassy is actually based within Rathbone Place Post Office, possibly behind the half-empty 'Congratulations on your New Nephew' card display.
Image taken from 10corsocomo's Flickr photostream.
By Craig Beaumont