Tags: waldorf astoria | condo | conversion | one billion dollars | china

Waldorf Astoria Condo Conversion by Chinese Company to Cost $1 Billion

Image: Waldorf Astoria Condo Conversion by Chinese Company to Cost $1 Billion
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By    |   Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 10:36 AM

The iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York will soon undergo a $1 billion condo conversion, said its new owner, Anbang Insurance of China.

The hotel, which features 1,400 rooms, will be closed for more than a year while it is converted to luxury apartments, CNN Money reported.

While many details of the renovation haven't been finalized, about three-quarters of the rooms will to be converted to private apartments, leaving 300 to 500 guest rooms, The Wall Street Journal reported. The changes will eliminate hundreds of jobs for hotel workers, and the company will pay $100 million or more in severance.

Anbang bought the hotel from Hilton in 2015 for $1.95 billion.

The 85-year-old landmark occupies a full city block on Park Avenue and is known worldwide for its lavish parties and famous guests, including every president since Herbert Hoover.

The renovated tower reportedly will target a very exclusive market of buyers.

"We expect a good return with our Waldorf investment," Anbang CEO Xiaohui Wu reportedly said at Harvard University in 2015. "To achieve the high value-creation, we plan to renovate the two towers into luxury residential apartments with world class amenities and finishes to reflect its culture and social status. A potential buyer needs to have more than money to qualify for our apartments."

The plan makes sense at a time when the company faces regulatory scrutiny over its liquidity and business model and the New York hotel market appears headed for a slowdown, The Real Deal noted.

“It would make sense that they are converting a portion of the guest rooms to condos, given their high cost basis,” hospitality consultant Steven Kamali told the real estate publication. “This would be a thoughtful way to… make the investment plausible.”

The Plaza Hotel, another landmark hotel in Manhattan, was converted to condos a decade ago.

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The iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York will soon undergo a $1 billion condo conversion, said its new owner, Anbang Insurance of China.
waldorf astoria, condo, conversion, one billion dollars, china
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2016-36-28
Tuesday, 28 Jun 2016 10:36 AM
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