Hedge Fund Manager's 'Iceberg Home' Melts

Mar 28 2014 | 4:58am ET

Bregal Capital founder Edmund Lazarus was set to get what many other London hedge fund managers have: a vast and luxurious basement larger than the house to which it was connected. At least, he was until two trees got in the way.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has rejected Lazarus' plan to build a 16,000-square-foot basement under his Holland Park house and its garden. It is the latter that appears to be the problem: The huge addition would span nearly the entirety of the garden, endangering the "health and vitality" of the two 60-foot tall trees that call it home.

That would risk "harmfully altering" the neighborhood, the council said.

Lazarus' planned £10 million basement would have included a huge swimming pool, a two-story gym with a sauna and steam rooms, a yoga studio, a wine cellar and a cigar room, creating a so-called "iceberg" home in which more than 50% of the living area is underground.

Lazarus, a major donor to the U.K.'s ruling Conservative Party and a close friend of Education Secretary Michael Gove, can appeal the decision.


In Depth

Q&A: TCA Fund Management's Bob Press on Small-Cap Private Equity

Aug 25 2016 | 8:55pm ET

The emergence of private credit as a replacement for traditional bank financing...

Lifestyle

Kiawah: Island Reversal

Aug 24 2016 | 9:59pm ET

Looking for real estate investments but the typical real estate fare isn’t cutting...

Guest Contributor

Old Hill Partners: Embrace Illiquidity

Aug 9 2016 | 2:39pm ET

The age-old financial concept that higher yields are the result of higher risk and...