After a seven year hiatus, Chicago-based Strategic Hotels & Resorts is regaining ownership of the Jumeirah Essex House on Central Park South. According to Crain’s, the firm paid Dubai Investment Group between $350 million and $400 million for the 509-room property at 160 Central Park South.
Dubai had purchased it from Strategic in 2005 for about $440 million, but put it on the sales market in March after handing over management duties of its 30-property portfolio to Silverpeak Real Estate Partners, a firm founded by Mark Walsh, the former head of Lehman Brothers’ real estate group. Walsh commissioned Jones Lang Lasalle to market the property, which was expected to fetch as much as $1 million per room.
After purchasing the circa-1931 Jumeirah Essex House, located between Sixth and Seventh avenues, Dubai poured $90 million into renovating it and converted some of the most valuable rooms to condominiums. The exact number of conversions is unclear, but in 2007 The Real Deal reported that there were 35 condo units in the building selling for between $1 million and $5 million.
Strategic owns 17 luxury hotels and resorts, and the Essex House would represent its sole holding in the city. [Crain's] — Adam Fusfeld