5. (3) Viscount Portman and Family £1.35bn (£1.45bn)
Viscount Portman’s 110-acre Central London estate has a new chief executive, but its improvement plans continue apace.
Gareth Clutton has taken over as CEO after moving from Cluttons. He replaces Hugh Seaborn who is leaving to join the Cadogan Estate.
The 50-year-old Viscount Portman is determined to make sure that the London properties on the Portman Estate maintain their high value, despite the general decline in property prices. The estate may have been in the family for nearly 500 years but the properties have the very latest in facilities including broadband technology and wireless internet.
Viscount Portman has drawn up a strategy that includes the revamp of Portman Square. The proposals follow an estate-wide review by Dutch architect Jan Gehl and aim to make the busy square pedestrian friendly and more accessible from Oxford Street and Baker Street. The plans are likely to be implements after the 2012 Olympics, though work is already starting on new street lighting, paving and street furniture on nearby Seymour Place and New Quebec Street,
Westminster Council has agreed plans for a major revamp of the street scene of the southern side of Seymour Close.
The Portman Estate has also spent nearly £17 million buying the leasehold of Garfield House in W1 as a long term investment. The retail and office building – of which it is already the freehold owner – will be converted to “something of quality” – according to an Estate spokesman – within 10 to 20 years.
Christopher Edward Berkeley Portman – the 10th Viscount Portman comes from a family which is indeed something of quality. They have been landlords of the 110-acre Portman estate in central London since the 16th century. It was bought by Sir William Portman in 1532 to graze goats.
The Portman property portfolio includes a 3000 acre estate in Herefordshire and a 17,000 acre farm in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia as well as shares in commercial properties in New York and Florida.
The family also has homes in Antigua and Sydney.