The Mayfair building known as the In and Out Club, once envisaged as the UK’s most exclusive six-star hotel and private members’ club, has been put up for sale by a company advised by Simon Halabi, the property mogul.

The Grade I-listed building, on a prime stretch of London’s Piccadilly opposite Green Park, derives its name from the signs next to each of its two drives. It was built as a royal residence and became home to Lord Palmerston, the Victorian prime minister.

It has stood vacant for the past few years while its owner, Anglo Swiss Holdings, an offshore trust advised by Mr Halabi, worked up plans for an invitation-only members’ club for the ultra rich.

Membership, which would have cost up to £50,000 a year, would also have given access to a similar club to be built at Mentmore Towers, the gothic Grade I-listed former Rothschild estate in Buckinghamshire that is also owned by Halabi family trusts.

The owner has now hired Jones Lang LaSalle, the property adviser, to explore investor interest in the sale, which also includes neighbouring buildings. It is thought that the sale could raise more than £250m.

Mr Halabi said: “For many years I have had a vision of creating the leading luxury property in London and have put my heart and soul into creating the scheme.

“I have now decided that it is time to pass the baton to another investor who will share my ambition and vision for the asset.”

Mark Wynne-Smith, chief executive of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, said: “Mayfair has not seen a new luxury hotel property for some time and the ‘In and Out’ club offers the best opportunity to become the leading hotel in this prime district of London.

“We also know that residential investors have shown interest in the scheme and we certainly haven’t excluded the possibility that it might end up in another luxury use such as private luxury home, palace or museum.”

The building was bought in 1999 from the Naval & Military club, which moved to St James’s Square. The existing scheme includes 250,000 sq ft of hotel accommodation across 121 suites.

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