Image © Flippage
After five years of ownership changes and tenant battles, a group of well-known hoteliers is betting on the future of the historic Hotel Chelsea. The Real Deal reports that a joint venture made up of BD Hotels’ Richard Born and Ira Drukier and Sean MacPherson (who owns, among others, the Bowery Hotel and Waverly Inn) has closed on the hotel for $250 million, and they plan to convert it to condos and a likely trendy hotel.
The Hotel Chelsea–famous for housing the likes of everyone from Mark Twain and Jack Kerouac to Bob Dylan and Madonna, and infamous for being the site where Sid Vicious reportedly stabbed to death his girlfriend and where Dylan Thomas went into a coma just before dying–has been in turmoil since 2011, when the landmarked property was sold to developer Joseph Chetrit for $80 million. At this time, the hotel stopped taking reservations to accommodate a renovation, but long-time, rent-stabilized tenants complained of health hazards from the construction, and it sold again in 2013 to Ed Scheetz and Bill Ackman.
BD Hotels took over this past summer, but it hasn’t stopped the contentious relationship between the tenants and owners. Even just last month, the DOB issued a partial work-stop order on behalf of the residents since the owners hadn’t specified which units would be occupied during construction. BD said this was just an “insignificant speed bump” in their renovation process.
An earlier report from The Real Deal said the company will create 120+ hotel rooms, but the number of apartments was unclear, though Richard Born did say they’ll be working closely with the remaining 51 tenants. MacPherson and BD have previously collaborated on the Bowery, Ludlow, and Maritime hotels, as well as the Marlton Hotel near Washington Square, which Born referred to as a “mini Chelsea” for its quirky nature and past roster of residents.
Neighborhoods : Chelsea