New York’s Newly Sold Chrysler Building to Become a Hotel?

Main Photo: The Chrysler Building…

Date: March 2019

Location: Near Grand Central Station, New York City, NY, USA

Name: TBA

No. of Keys: TBA

Seller: Abu Dhabi Investment Council, who paid $800 million paid for a 90 percent share in the building in 2008.

Buyer: Aby Rosen’s RFR Holding LLC and Signa Holding GmbH. RFR Holding LLC is a Manhattan based, privately controlled real estate investment, development and management company founded in 1991 by Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs.

RFR’s hospitality portfolio includes 11 Howard, The Paramount and Gramercy Park Hotels in NY, W South Beach in Miami, The Jaffa in Tel Aviiv and four hotels in Germany.

SIGNA and RFR are connected by a longstanding and successful partnership. In 2017, SIGNA acquired a portfolio of landmark properties in Germany from RFR, making it the largest real estate transaction in Germany that year.

Aby Rosen, Co-Founder of RFR, stated, “The Chrysler Building is a unique, globally-recognized property, and we are proud to be joint owners. Jointly, we aim to hold the asset with a long-term perspective and look towards evolving the building for a new era, further enhancing its iconic status.”

The Chrysler Building in New York City has just been sold to a new investment firm. The iconic building with its very distinct roof is located in a prime location near Grand Central Station. The building was purchased for only $151 million.

The new owners have stated they are considering turning the property into a hotel in the near future. The other competitive bidder had indicated that they wished to turn it into a hotel and mixed retail centre.

Built between 1928 and 1930 for US car manufacturer Chrysler, the building is most recognisable for its crown, which is clad in Nirosta steel and interspersed with triangular windows.

The tower served as Chrysler’s corporate headquarters from 1930 until the mid-1950s, and has many features that hint at this past. These include the bird-shaped gargoyles resembling Chrysler hood ornaments that extend from its corners.

The skyscraper is one of the most famous examples of the art deco architecture style – recognised by combinations of geometric shapes and overall visual drama. The term is an abbreviation of arts décoratifs, and emerged from the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in Paris in 1925.

An art deco feature found on the Chrysler Building includes its top portion, with seven radiating arches on its four sides laid out in a sunburst pattern.

Photography is courtesy of Shutterstock.

The tower features a tiered construction in compliance with 1916 zoning laws in New York City, which restricted the height of street-side exterior walls. As a result, the building has a silhouette based on groupings of different-height columns, with setbacks on floors 16, 18, 23, 28 and 31.

The Skyscraper remains world’s tallest steel-framed brick building

Built from a steel frame in-filled with masonry, the Chrysler Building is still the tallest in the world of its construction type, at 1,046 feet (319 metres) and 77 storeys.

It also features a tall spire, added at the last minute to increase the tower’s height in a “race to the sky” with 40 Wall Street.

At its lower levels, the tower is clad in polished black granite and white marble. Other portions have white and black patterns, created in either marble or brick. Windows are arranged in grids across the exterior, designed without sills and positioned flush with the facades.

Inside, the art deco style continues in a dimly lit, golden lobby with high ceilings, walls clad in African red granite and travertine floors, as well as ornate fixtures and designs from the time period.

The ageing building does not offer many of the amenities that newer office buildings are providing in the Hudson Yards area, and businesses are moving out.

The Chrysler Building is losing money at this time. There is over 400,000 square feet of available space, with a potential for more to become available over the next year. The new owners will have to make many upgrades to the building to attract new clients.

The current estimate is that the new owners will have to invest $150 to 250 million into the building. How they are going to spend that money, either into upgrading the office building, making it a mixed-use property, or changing it into a hotel setting is yet to be known. The new owners have not made any official statements on the property at this time.

Price: US$151m

Price per Key: TBA

THPT Comment: As a self-confessed art deco and grande-dame hotels fan, I couldn’t think of a better use for this fabulous building. Wow $800m in 2008 to today’s price of $151 – even if you had to invest $200m to refit as a hotel, would still make sense assuming one could get 250+ rooms.

First Seen: Travel + Leisure

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