Christopher Wren Tower on Market

Times Staff Writer

An unusual, Gothic-style building is being marketed as "a place to work, entertain and reside in the heart of London's international banking district."

It is a 92-foot tall, 1,152-square-foot bell tower, designed by Christopher Wren, and it is being offered with a leasehold for 125 years.

Known as St. Alban Tower, it is "the only Wren building for sale in the world," according to its agent, Savills of London, and "offers are invited in excess of $400,000."

The tower, built between 1682 and 1697, was formerly part of the Church of St. Alban, which was destroyed during World War II. A well-known city landmark, the tower is within walking distance of the Bank of England, St. Paul's Cathedral (which Wren also designed) and the Barbican Arts Centre.

It has six levels including four rooms and a roof terrace with eight 7-foot high pinnacles and what the agent describes as "exceptional views of the city."

Good thing it has a terrace. It doesn't have many windows, and it only has one door on the ground floor. However, the agent adds, it does have "complete security."

National Medical Enterprises of Los Angeles is building a $6.7-million hospital in Bristol, England.

The 53-bed hospital is scheduled to open in the fall of 1986.

In remarks to local government and community leaders, Peter de Wetter, executive vice president of National Medical Enterprises, said that the new hospital will "complement the health services in Bristol, where medicine has developed over the past four centuries to take its place in the forefront of modern medical practice."

The L. A. company recently acquired the United Kingdom-based assets of United Medical Enterprises Ltd., a subsidiary of London and Northern Group PLC. In addition to the Bristol site, the transaction included the 40-bed Alexandra Hospital in Maidstone, a 40-bed hospital expected to open this summer in Yorkshire, another hospital under development, and a contract to manage Italian Hospital in London.

Michael Talla is celebrating the sixth anniversary of his "Sports Connection" by planning a sixth club in Manhattan Beach, due to open next spring.

Besides that, he has broken ground in West L. A. for an $18-million facility.

Talla says that when he and Nanette Pattee planned their first "Sports Connection" in Santa Monica in 1976, they broke "the traditional health club rules by encouraging our members to stay around the premises after workouts."

Basically, what they established was, he added, "a country club for Yuppies."

Today, he claims a membership of 60,000 including the likes of Madonna and Tom Selleck.

If you're planning to move to Manhattan (New York, that is), better dig deeper into those pockets. The prices of co-op apartments there reached an all-time high for the area during the first quarter of this year, according to the Douglas Elliman Index.

The per-room price soared above the previous record of $112,724, set in the second quarter of 1984. The average selling price per room for 158 apartments that changed hands during this year's three-month period was $121,885.

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