Billionaire Zara founder Amancio Ortega expands London property empire with £225m St James’s office block

The Spanish billionaire founder of fashion chain Zara, Amancio Ortega, is buying an office block in St James’s that will push his London property empire past the £1.6 billion mark.

Ponte Gadea, Ortega’s real estate arm, is under offer to purchase Almack House for over £225 million, West End property sources told the Standard.

It comes less than a month after agent JLL was hired by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor to find a buyer for the 97,500 square feet block on King Street.

It is currently let to tenants such as private equity group Warburg Pincus.

With the deal due to complete early next year, the property will join a host of London buildings Ponte Gadea has under its belt.

Earlier this year the fashion mogul snapped up a £400 million stretch on Oxford Street, including retail space, adding to a number of offices it owns such as Devonshire House opposite The Ritz.

The company is one of a bountiful supply of international investors that want to capitalise on soaring rents in the capital and secure strong incomes.

Notoriously secretive, Ortega does not discuss his property empire.

He has grown the Inditex fashion brand globally to include labels such as Pull & Bear and Bershka.

Last month Ortega briefly passed Microsoft founder Bill Gates to become the world’s richest man with an estimated wealth of nearly $80 billion (£53 billion).  

All parties declined to comment on the purchase.

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