Reinventing the condo-hotel

December 21, 2009 10:00AM

Condo-hotels, like the Plaza Hotel at 768 Fifth Avenue, and the new Trump Soho at 246 Spring Street, may soon become a thing of the past. The buildings allow condo buyers to access hotel services and restrict their occupancy so that units can be rented out while they are away. But they are now proving difficult to sell — not because of a lack of interest but because of a lack of financing. “There is no financing for condo-hotels, so people have to buy in cash,” said Rodrigo Niño, president of the Prodigy Network, which is marketing Trump Soho. “What we think is, out of the original sales, we’re going to lose 10 to 15 percent of the people who won’t be able to close because of lack of financing.” After their planned 205-unit Nobu Hotel and Residences fell through, Raphael and father Robert De Niro are now planning a new condo-hotel in Miami’s South Beach, but the model is slightly different: Buyers’ occupancy will not be restricted and the units will not be rented out part-time. Condo-hotels using the Trump Soho’s model “are proving to not be successful,” said Raphael De Niro, managing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman. At the Fannie Mae-approved 75 Wall Street, hotel services are being sold to buyers à la carte. “Fannie Mae will not approve a condo-hotel under their guidelines,” said Larry Kruysman of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, who is directing sales at 75 Wall Street. [NYT]

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