London has long been a popular destination for property investors, and there are many high-profile individuals and companies that have made significant investments in the city’s real estate market. In this article we’ll take a look at some of London’s most influential property developers, from Indian entrepreneur Sameer Gehlaut to the Barclay Brothers.
The Barclay Brothers
Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, also known as the Barclay Brothers, have been two of the most prominent investors in London’s property market (David Barclay passed away in 2021). After many years of highly successful investment, the brothers bought The Ritz for £80 million in 1995 – arguably London’s most famous hotel. They later sold The Ritz to a Qatari investor.
They started their careers in General Electric before reaming up in the 1960s to turn old boarding houses into hotels, before moving into breweries and casinos, marking the beginning of an expansive real estate empire in the capital.
During their days, they’ve also held stakes in other London hotels, including Claridges, the Berkeley, and the Connaught – all of which sit near the top of the list for London’s most famed and luxury hotels.
Indian entrepreneur Sameer Gehlaut is the founder of Clivedale, an independent super-prime developer based in Mayfair. He also founded Indiabulls Group in India, one of the country’s largest and most profitable conglomerates. He gained extensive experience in real estate through Indiabulls, having led the business’s expansion into real estate in 2005.
Through Clivedale, Gehlaut develops unparalleled hotels, residences, and offices with 5-star amenities in London’s most prestigious locations. He’s been behind some of London’s best-known developments, including The Mansion, 73-77 Brook Street, Mayfair Park Residences, and 20 Carlton House Terrace.
He recently leased 20 Carlton House Terrace to BP to house their headquarters. The deal for the site, which overlooks St James’s Park in the heart of the West End, was the biggest of its kind in over a decade.
The Candy Brothers
Another famed set of siblings, the Candy Brothers, have had a huge impact on London’s real estate sector. But they started out small, buying a one-bedroom flat in Redcliffe Square in Earl’s Court – before renovating it and selling it for a £50,000 profit. After working themselves up the property investment ladder, they eventually developed One Hyde Park, one of London’s most prestigious locations. One Hyde Park, located in Knightsbridge, revolutionised the real estate market in and beyond London, becoming the most expensive residential property in the world.
Other major real estate investments of the brothers include NoHo Square, Fitzrovia; Chelsea Barracks, City of Westminster; and Gordon House, Chelsea.
The Reuben Brothers
David and Simon Reuben, Indian-born British businessmen, and brothers, are two of the UK’s wealthiest property investors. They own a diverse portfolio of properties in London, including the Millbank Tower, the John Lewis Partnership’s headquarters in Victoria, the American Express offices, Carlton House, Academy House on Sackville Street, Connaught House on Berkeley Square, Market Towers, the London Primark store on Oxford Street, Sloane Street shops, and Cambridge House – the list goes on!
They’ve developed, renovated, and redeveloped a diverse range of other properties, including offices and flats in the Paddington area, Park Plaza and Resorts, and Hampton House. Over a number of decades, the brothers have invested vast sums in London’s economy through their real estate projects and they’ve had lasting impact as a result.
The Sellar Property Group
The Sellar Property Group is one of London’s most ambitious property developers. It’s best known for developing the 72-storey skyscraper The Shard in Southwark, London – completed in 2012. Sellar’s impact and influence cannot be overstated, having developed the tallest building in the United Kingdom which stands at 309.6 metres tall.
They’ve also got ambitions to revive the Paddington area, both above and below ground. And they are currently developing Paddington Square, a public space in the area with a mix of shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. Other developments include Shard Place, News Building, Bermondsey, and Seal House.