FelCor buys landmark NY building
FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. said it has acquired the building that once housed the historic Knickerbocker Hotel in New York for $115 million. FelCor, which owns 76 U.S. hotels, plans to open a 330-room luxury hotel in the beaux arts building at 42nd Street and Broadway by late 2013.
In recent decades, the midtown Manhattan property has been operated as an office building. FelCor’s partner in the deal is an affiliate of Highgate Holdings LLC, which will manage the hotel when it opens. FelCor said it intends to operate the locale as an independent hotel under the Knickerbocker name.
“With its unique architecture and Times Square location, the Knickerbocker is an irreplaceable asset in a marquee location,” said Richard Smith, FelCor’s president and ceo.
The hotel will occupy the top 14 floors in the 16-story building, which was built by investor and developer John Jacob Astor IV in 1906. Felcor said the hotel floors within the building have been cleared and abated and are ready for immediate redevelopment. In addition, the redevelopment plan has been approved by New York City’s Landmarks Commission and New York City’s Board of Standards and Appeals.
The Knickerbocker is FelCor’s third hotel in New York. Last year, the company acquired the Royalton and Morgans hotels from Morgans Hotel Group Co. for $140 million.
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