The historic US embassy in Grosvenor Square will be opened to the public as part of a £1bn hotel and retail development.
Westminster City Council has granted planning permission for developers Qatari Diar to transform the site, which has been home to US ambassadors to the UK since 1960, into a 137 bedroom hotel, spa and ball room for 900 guests.
Over the years the embassy has become a landmark, gaining grade II listed status in 2009.
Permission for the proposal has been granted subject to the building retaining its most iconic elements, including the large gilded aluminium eagle on the roof.
Approval is also dependent on the developers funding the removal of existing security fences, huts and bollards and the reopening the surrounding roads as soon as possible. Access to the areas has been restricted in recent years as part of heightened security measures.
Cllr Robert Davis MBE DL, Westminster City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for the Built Environment said: “Today marks the start of a new era in Grosvenor Square’s rich history. Everyone recognises the American embassy building and this will be an iconic hotel.
“I am pleased to rubberstamp these plans which open up the area to billions of pounds of investment and greatly improve access to the square and surrounding roads.”
“The West End is the beating heart of the country’s economy and regeneration developments like this cement our position as the world’s capital city. As a hotel and retail space this site will attract new visitors and create a vibrant atmosphere to invigorate the local economy.”