The group, opened an office In 1980, established in Arlington, Virginia, USA
Following our rapid expansion throughout the decade, a decision was made to invest in the eastern seaboard states of the USA. As a result of that decision, the Group sold First State Leasing, together with all the industrial assets, secondary shopping parades and residential properties of pre war construction, which generated a sizeable cash surplus. With the weak state of the US dollar at the time we converted these funds from sterling into dollars. which were deposited with Riggs National Bank of Washington.
In 1980, we opened offices at 1200, Arlington Ridge Road, Arlington, Virginia across Shirley Highway to the Pentagon.
With the opening of the US office we engaged the services of both: Healey and Baker's, New York office and Coldwell Banker's Washington office who provided counselling for many of our acquisitions in both Maryland and Virginia. Within 6 months of our establishment in the US and together with our partner: Peter Prowting's Estate and General Investments plc we acquired the mid rise rental building, Robert Towers, containing 300 apartments being close to Washington National airport. This was purchased from: Abe Pollen, the owner of the Washington Redskins and following extensive upgrading and refurbishment ,was renamed: The Cavandish, after Cavandish Square, London and converted to a Condominium.
We soon hit the headlines and established a presence in the DC area. At the opening day of the show apartments, we raised up three, 15 meter aluminium flagpoles, the Union Jack, Stars and Stripes and the First State House Flag. However a member of staff overlooked etiquette by flying all three flags at the same height - the host nation should have been the highest. When the military staff from the Pentagon looked out of their windows at the flags in front of the Cavendish, multiple complaints were received. The following day this headline appeared in the Washington Post - "'THE BRITS ARE COMING" and as a result the sales office were inundated with prospective buyers selling way above expectation. Shortly afterwards with the support of Riggs National Bank of Washington and National Bank of Detroit, we acquired a high rise rental block of 180 apartments, at: 1830, Columbia Pike, Arlington, adjacent to the Navy Annex. We decided to name this block, "The Lancaster".
Whilst, we continued acquiring many thousands of properties, with our UK partners: A - Z
The oldest were Phoenician Securities Ltd and Macedonian Securities Ltd that pioneered a large number of residential break up schemes in London, following the introduction of the 1966 Rent Act.
These included: Investments
The Grand Junction Estate, acquired from Amalgamated Investment and Properties plc and comprised the entire freehold estate of all properties located behind, Sussex Gardens and Praed Street bounded by Norfolk Place and Edgware Road in Paddington. Other unbroken blocks owned by the group. included 'Tarranbrae' Willesden Lane, West End Court, West End Lane, West Hampstead, Dunraven House, Dunraven Street, Mayfair and North Orbital Road, Denham.