A hotel legend goes under the hammer

Plaza Hotel in Manhattan

The hotel, which opened in 1907, is still one of the most exclusive addresses in New York.

(Photo: Reuters)

New York A New York hotel legend will apparently go under the hammer next month: the Plaza Hotel. This could end two years of uncertainty about the future of the property right on Central Park.

The two billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben own the mortgage on the five-star hotel and have now scheduled a foreclosure sale for April 26th. Bloomberg learned this from a person who is familiar with what was going on and who did not want to be named. The Reubens bought the loan from the Bank of China after the current majority owner, Sahara India Pariwar, defaulted last year. Sahara is controlled by Subrata Roy, who was jailed in India in early 2014 for fraud against investors.

In its 109-year history, the Plaza Hotel, located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South in Manhattan, has changed hands many times. US presidential candidate Donald Trump bought the Plaza in 1988 and married his second wife, Marla Maples, there. Trump later sold the property to a group including Prince Alwaleed bin-Talal from Saudi Arabia. This sold the property to the Israeli Elad Group, which converted some of the hotel rooms into condominiums. The current minority owners of the hotel include Bin-Talal and a company associated with hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal.

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What is currently for sale are the hotel rooms of the building as well as the restaurant and retail space, as the informed person told Bloomberg.

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According to the information, the Plaza will be sold as a package with the Hotel Dream Downtown. This is a trendy hostel in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, one block away from the High Line Park, which has emerged over the past few years.

The two hotels act as collateral for the Bank of China loan and are cross-secured with the London hotel Grosvenor House. The Dream Hotel is owned by Roy von Sahara as well as Chatwal. The total mortgages for the two New York homes are said to be around $ 500 million.

Alexander Bushaev, a spokesman for the Reuben brothers, did not want to comment on the possible foreclosure when asked by Bloomberg. Calls and emails to Roy and Alwaleed asking for comments were not promptly replied to.

The sale of the Plaza, where the so-called Plaza Agreement for the devaluation of the US dollar was signed in 1985, comes at a time when investors are showing great interest in so-called real estate trophies.

The Chinese Anbang Insurance Group only paid $ 1.95 billion last year for the well-known Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which is also located in Manhattan.

And that month, Anbang Insurance agreed to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts, a luxury property owner. The purchase price should therefore amount to 6.5 billion dollars. In addition, the Chinese made a surprising offer worth around 13 billion dollars for the American hotel group Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide before.



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