The Hotel Lambert has passed down several hands and has now reached a French billionaire.
Sheikh Abdulla bin Khalifa Al-Thani sells his property, the Hotel Lambert, to French billionaire Xavier Niel for 226 million dollars, according to a Bloomberg report.
The deal is one of the biggest transactions ever witnessed in private property in Paris. This supersedes the approximate 113.5 million dollars paid for the Hotel de Soyecourt in 2011.
The person familiar with the matter explained that the buyer plans on using the mansion for cultural foundation purposes as opposed to living in it.
The hotel was built in 1640 by Louis Le Vau, the same architect who contributed to the Versailles Palace. It was first built for financier Jean-Baptiste Lambert de Thorigny and has hosted literary salons with the participation of Voltaire and Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Among the owners of this hotel were Polish princess Anna Czartoryska. In 2007, the property was sold for an almost amount of 68 million dollars to Sheikh Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Thani, brother of the former Amir of Qatar, Bloomberg said.
The Hotel Lambert, considered by many as one of the most well-preserved demonstrations of the mid-17th century French architecture, was under extreme scrutiny over the Qatari owner’s decision to renovate the property. A judge ordered him to suspend some of the renovation work as per a court decision on the conservationists’ objections, according to reports.
In 2013, the mansion caught fire which forced Sheikh Abdulla Al-Thani to prolong its renovations, which cost an amount of 147.5 million dollars.
Qatari investments in France and the UK
As per 2013 report, Qatar had owned around 40 properties in France, amounting to 7.8 billion dollars.
The interest behind launching investments lies in some European countries’ decision to eliminate taxes on profits made by foreign investors upon selling real estate. In 2008, France followed the same footsteps as the United Kingdom and made an agreement with Qatar.
“Qatari Diar” is a property company established by the Qatar Investment Authority in 2005. The company owns monumental buildings like The Shard in London.