Following triumphant claims that every apartment at the $5.8 to $220 million One Hyde Park has sold, British papers unleashed two big exposés about the superlux development.The Observer’s Daniel Boffey found that only 9 of the 62 sold apartments had registered for the local council tax. Each new resident owes around $2,200 and faces debtor’s prison if he doesn’t pay.
Looking at records at the Land Registry, Boffey also found heavy use of tax havens in property purchases, with 25 apartments bought through the British Virgin Islands.
The Mail’s Matt Sandy dug into another lingering scandal: few people actually live at One Hyde Park.
I arrived at 7am on Wednesday, expecting to see a parade of tycoons and high-flyers leaving the building for work. Instead, I saw no one. This, according to an immaculately presented Polish doorman in a bowler hat, is not unusual.
‘On some days not a single person will go in or out of this building,’ he says. ‘At most there will be 10.’
Standing next to a more menacing security colleague wearing an earpiece, he says: ‘These people are not like you and me. Many have homes across the world and will stay here for only a few days each year.’
So who actually lives there?
Ukraine’s richest man Rinat Akhmetov was the first high profile buyer. Complex developer Christian Candy is another, along with the UAE’s Mohammed Saud Sultan Al Qasimi; British insurance broker Rory Carville; and Irish property magnate Raymond Grehan. Around one quarter of sales have gone to the Middle East, accoridng to Arabian Business.
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