Ian Schrager won’t be following through on his proposed grand-scale refurbishment of the Empire Hotel, preferring instead to test New York City’s hotel-sales waters by selling the 110-year-old, 465-unit property.
It looks like Ian Schrager won’t be following through on his proposed grand-scale refurbishment of the Empire Hotel, preferring instead to test New York City’s hotel-sales waters by selling the 110-year-old, 465-unit property.
Part of a reported $177-million buy-up three years ago that included the Barbizon Hotel (which has since sold off for about $96 million), the Empire Hotel has already undergone some upgrades but apparently not so much a potential buyer might find redevelopment alternatives and opportunities effectively hamstrung.
The Lincoln Center lodging facility is being marketed through Sonnenblick - Goldman, on the basis of it being a 232,000-square-foot property rather than listing it by room-count. Indeed, it has been noted the Empire Hotel could be enhanced and transfigured into a five-star hotel, a luxury timeshare and/or fractional ownership site, a strategically placed address for high-end residential condominiums or a combination of some or all of the above.
The hotel presents potential buyers with an exceptionally strategic location, situated across from Lincoln Center, between Broadway and Columbus Avenue and 62nd and 63rd Streets. For this reason alone, bargain-hunters would do well to forget about snapping up the property at “fire-sale” prices… a scenario that was far more likely to be in effect roughly a century ago, when the hotel was shuttered for several years following a disastrous fire. On the other hand, there is no denying the Empire Hotel has been impacted by the drop-off in tourism to The Big Apple since the economy soured and ultimately exacerbated by the events of 9/11. Moreover, spokespersons for Ian Schrager admitted the property, as it now stands, “doesn’t fit Schrager’s strategic growth plan.”