A Saudi prince and NYC real estate company will buy iconic Plaza Hotel for $600M

Posted On Fri, May 4, 2018 By

Posted On Fri, May 4, 2018 By In Central Park South, real estate trends

Photo via Creative Commons

Update 5/8/18: Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. will buy the Plaza Hotel for $600 million, besting a previous offer made less than a week ago, according to the New York Post. While it was reported White City Ventures and the Kamran Organization were in contract to buy the iconic building, the prince and Ashkenazy, as the minority owner, had the option to acquire the hotel if they matched the $600 million offer. The deal is expected to close this summer.

A deal to sell the historic, 111-year-old Plaza Hotel has finally been reached, after the New York City landmark sat on and off the market for years and changed hands numerous times. As the Real Deal reported, a group of investors including Shahal Kahan of White City Ventures and Kamran Hakim of the Hakim Organization, are in contract to buy a majority share of the hotel for $600 million. While reports in March said the group was considering paying for part of the purchase with cryptocurrency, the deal instead is being made up of equity from investors and a $415 million loan from a pair of British billionaires, David and Simon Reuben.

The Sahara Group, who purchased its share in 2012, currently owns a 70 percent stake in the hotel and hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal owns the the other 5 percent being sold. Sahara’s chairman, Subrata Roy, has been embattled with legal troubles and served two years in jail over a bond sale. He has been ordered to repay the government billions of dollars.

Notably, the remaining 25 percent of the hotel is owned by a partnership made up of Ashkenazy Acquisition and Kingdom Holdings, a group controlled by the Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.

Prince Al-Waleed previously planned to buy the majority stake with Ashkenazy, but was detained by the government in November during Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on corruption. He was released in January.

The Central Park South hotel first opened in 1907 and was later designated as a city landmark in 1969 and listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1986, the only hotel on the list. The Plaza served as the setting for Kay Thompson’s Eloise children’s books and was featured in films like “North by Northwest,” “Home Alone,” and “Sleepless in Seattle.” President Donald Trump even owned the hotel at one point, buying it in 1988 for $390 million. He later lost it as part of a bankruptcy.

And the Real Deal learned on Friday that Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the French maker of luxury goods, might set up in the Plaza’s retail stores. The 50,000 square feet of store front is accessible via East 58th Street. No deal has been reached yet.

[Via The Real Deal]

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