The Red Lion pub in Mayfair had closed its doors in 2009 and was looking unloved and uncared for. But while most passers-by saw a tragic case of the recession killing off a once-loved British pub, one developer saw it as something else entirely - a project that could net him tens of millions of pounds.
And now his vision has gone on the market.
The propertyThe transformation is impressive. The developers started by knocking the entire building down - except for the facade. They painted that white, so it looks like a pristine period property from the front. The only way you could guess its former life is from the words 'Red Lion' on a sign on the brickwork
There are three storeys above ground, but the dramatic work has gone on underground, where two extra storeys have been built.
The property now boasts four reception rooms (one of which features a marble-clad wall), five bedrooms (of which the master bedroom occupies almost an entire floor), eight bathrooms, an underground swimming pool, cinema and gym. There are also two sun terraces, and a lift between all seven floors.
For the Oligarch who doesn't have time to clean this sort of property and cook in the incredibly high-spec kitchen, there also maid's quarters with a separate entrance.
It's certainly impressive, but the price tag is not out of the ordinary for the area. In fact Wetherell, which is marketing the property, has more expensive pads on its books, including a plot in the area with planning permission for a 6 bedroom, 7 bathroom mansion - selling for £35 million. It has also just sold a 9 bedroom property round the corner for £32 million.
TransformedThe astonishing price of property in London means it's increasingly worth people putting the time and effort into re-designing a property from the ground up.
In August we reported on the couple who reduced the asking price of their water tower conversion to £4.65 million. The couple had bought it for £380,000 and spent £2 million on the transformation.
In September reported on the Peckham workshop bought by a couple for £220,000, who transformed it into a loft-style dream home, and put it back on the market for £835,000.
Meanwhile we reported in September that Nick Ross had been granted planning permission to demolish a substantial portion of a £17 million property he had bought near Hyde Park and rebuild it from scratch - including putting a swimming pool in the basement.
And that same month Hans Rausing, the troubled Tetra Pak heir, received permission to build down another two floors in his £70 million mansion in Belgravia.
There was even the former North London garage that had been 'transformed' into a tiny studio flat and was on the market for £250,000.
It begs the question as to whether by the time the developers have finished, there will be any properties left in posh parts of London which haven't been knocked down and rebuilt - or doubled in size with a basement extension.