Brevan Hedge Fund Manager Seeks (Much) Bigger Basement

Feb 28 2011 | 9:22am ET

Brevan Howard Asset Management co-founder Trifon Natsis is preparing to build a basement bunker worthy of royalty under the garden of his home in London's posh Hampstead neighborhood.

Natsis's plans are expected to be approved this week by his local council. And then, let the digging begin: The hedge fund manager plans to increase the size of his Templewood Avenue home by tenfold, from the current 57 square meters to a whopping 495 square meters. The one-and-a-half-story downward expansion will include a pool, a jacuzzi, a wine cellar, a gym and a "garden room."

In addition, Natsis' £9.1 million plans include changes to his historic early-20th century home, formerly the resident of the Polish ambassador to the Court of St. James. The top floor will be dormered and an extension—complete with terra cotta balustrade—will be added to the side. There will also be a pair of terraces and a front porch.

All told, the work is expected to take two years, one of many things Natsis' neighbors aren't happy about.

Two local groups have already complained that the proposed changes are "oversized" and out-of-character for the protected neighborhood. Others say that the clay-based soil of Hampstead already presents major drainage and flooding issues, which they say would be exacerbated by the extension.

But Camden council doesn't seem to think so, calling the "proposed demolition and development" "acceptable in design and scale."

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