Waldorf Astoria Condo Conversion Continues Project Gears Up Despite Owner's Financial Issues

The Waldorf Astoria (iStock.com).

In 2016, The Cooperator ran a piece on the business of condominium units existing within a larger hotel property. The article was inspired by news that the iconic Waldorf Astoria had been purchased by the Chinese company Anbang Insurance Group, which planned to convert up to 1,000 out-of-circulation rooms into condos. (That number was reduced last year to 409, according to Anbang's CPS-1 filing.)

However a  little drama unfolded between then and now that left the deal up in the air for some time. For starters, Anbang chairman Wu Xiaohui was detained in mid-2017 by Chinese authorities for alleged economic improprieties. Then, in mid-February, the Chinese government gained temporary control of the company, leaving its assets in question.

Despite all of this, the condo conversion appears to be moving forward. The first signs of this were reported by Bloomberg on February 28th, when a visit to the property turned up both debris being loaded into trucks from the north side of the property, as well as the van of an architectural salvage company out of Pennsylvania.

From Bloomberg:

“The [salvage] company, Olde Good Things, already is selling pieces from the hotel’s interior on its website. Items for sale include light fixtures fashioned from Venetian glass and French crystal, along with more than 40 marble mantels carved in a variety of styles, including a Louis XV rococo piece listed for $14,000. More affordable items include steak knives ($25 each), silver-plated doorbells ($45) and towel racks ($250).”

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