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The end is nigh for Fortress House as a new owner for the site emerges

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The final nail appears to have been hammered into the coffin of English Heritage's former headquarters Fortress House after it emerged that an Irish property investor has won the race to buy the central London building.

According to sources in Ireland, investment company D2 Private's £110 million offer for the former EH headquarters in Savile Row was accepted by landowner Legal & General yesterday and the Irish investor now wants to completely redevelop the site.

It is also understood that D2 Private is keen to press on with Eric Parry's scheme for the plot, which includes proposals to flatten the 1950s block and replace it with a new office building.

Fortress House had originally been put on the market for around £85 million, but the price crept up as rival bids came in for the site, including an offer from the Raven Group, which wanted to retain the building and convert it into a hotel.

Raven Group had teamed up with conservation specialist Oliver Laws on its rival scheme - a proposal championed by conservationists hoping to save the building from demolition.

The reports of D2 Private's successful bid has dismayed Adam Wilkinson of SAVE Britain's Heritage who claimed the firm 'has absolutely no interest in preserving the existing building.'

Legal & General would not confirm officially that the bid had gone through.

by Richard Waite

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