Hang You Hat: You’ll Soon Be Able To Live At The Waldorf

Hang You Hat: You’ll Soon Be Able To Live At The Waldorf

China-based Anbang Insurance Group, the owner of the 47-story Waldorf Astoria New York, may be planning to convert about 1,000 hotel rooms at the landmarked property into luxury condos, according to several sources.

Anbang purchased the hotel, located at 301 Park Ave., for $1.95 billion in late 2014. After the transaction closed months later, the firm’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui, alluded to conversion plans for the structure’s two towers without delving into specifics.

According to sources, Anbang’s vision is now coming into focus. Out of the hotel’s nearly 1,400 hotel rooms, the company may be gearing up to covert about 1,000 of them into luxury condos.

A conversion of that scale would be consistent with a filing Anbang submitted to the city in early 2015, when it subdivided the building into different sections for condos, a hotel and retail. Anbang set aside 1.2 million square feet—approximately 75% of the building—for residential use, according to the document filed with the city’s Department of Finance, though it did not specify how much space would be used for amenities or for hotel ballrooms.

Currently, the Waldorf is split into two sections: the 1,232-room hotel itself and a 181-room boutique hotel called the Towers, which has its own entrance on East 50th Street and also features a number of one- and two-bedroom rentals.

Earlier this year, the company filed separate permits with the city to gut the 12th and 24th floors. Anbang indicated that the demolition was part of an exploratory process to discover how a broader renovation might be carried out. But until that survey process is complete, the firm said it has no idea how much of the residential set-aside it will actually end up using.

Last year, the City Council passed a law banning hotels with more than 150 units from converting over 20% of the property into residences for two years without going through a lengthy city public review process. However, the legislation exempted recent transactions, including the Waldorf Astoria. Read more > > >
via Crains | Lead image: Shutterstock

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