The Vatican Mulls Selling $277 Million West London Office Property

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 21, 2021 - 05:45 AM

It isn't just major corporations looking to turn tail from cities...

The Vatican is mulling the sale of a building it owns in West London that has been at the center of a financial scandal. 60 Sloane Avenue in Chelsea is said to be worth about $277 million and is located in one of the most desired zip codes in London, Bloomberg wrote this weekend. 

The building was at the center of a 2014 investigation that cost the Vatican money (between 66 million pounds and 150 million pounds) and saw several of its officials brought in for questioning. Among other things, there were questions about high fees paid to middlemen who brokered the city-state's investment in the property. 

Archbishop Nunzio Galantino said that “mistakes or fraudulent acts” at the center of the controversy were being examined by the Vatican. He also blamed high interest rates (we'll pause for laughter), the pandemic and the depreciation of the pound.

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, who was chief of staff in the Vatican’s secretariat of state and was linked to the deal, resigned, despite not being placed under investigation. 

As Bloomberg notes, the controversy stands at stark odds with Pope Francis' messaging about money, which he once called "the devil's dung". 

While a sale is being considered there is "no rush" to move the property, the report noted. The 170,000 sq. foot building is a mix of offices and retail space, and can be converted into 49 luxury apartment units.