Knickerbocker Hotel site set to sell for $173M

By Amy Tennery | June 11, 2010 08:45PM

From left: Christopher Okada, Raphael De Niro and the Knickerbocker

The sale of The Former Knickerbocker Hotel And An Adjacent Lot On 42nd Street are set to close Tuesday for $173 million, according to sources close to the deal.

The price of the entire property is just 46 percent of the $376 million price Istithmar World paid for it in 2006.

“Ashkenazy definitely got a great deal,” one said.

Istithmar, which is the private equity owner of Dubai government’s investment arm, lost control of the Midtown property in March to lender Danske Bank after defaulting on its $300 million mortgage. Istithmar, the former owner of the W New York Union Square hotel, filed suit earlier this year to challenge a series of bankruptcy filings from Philadelphia-based LEM Mezzanine. 

“It’s kind of a relief that things are being priced appropriately,” said Adam Paskow of Prudential Douglas Elliman, part of the team representing one of the buyers, Ashkenazy Acquisition, adding that the deal signifies “more of a correction than a depression.”  

There are reports that there were over 50 bidders for the site including hotel chains and institutional investors. 

The buyers of the 300,000-square-foot 10-story Beaux-Arts-style building at 1466 Broadway, or 6 Times Square, and the neighboring property are Ashkenazy, Crown Acquisitions and Highgate Holdings. 

Paskow and colleague Raphael De Niro along with Christopher Okada, president of corporate real estate advisory group Okada & Company, negotiated the deal for Ashkenazy. Paskow runs the investment sales division group of Elliman’s De Niro Group. 

Paskow and another source said that they were unaware of how the building would be used after it trades hands. 

The historic building opened as the Knickerbocker Hotel during the turn of the century, and has been home to Newsweek, textile showrooms, apartments and the Gap. 

It wasn’t immediately clear who represented Crown and Highgate and no one else involved in the deal was immediately available for comment.

Have a tip? E-mail Amy Tennery at