Former NYT building attracts multiple bidders for hotel conversion plan

August 26, 2010 11:45AM

Richard Marin and the New York Times building

The seven floors up for grabs at the old New York Times headquarters at 229 West 43rd Street are expected to draw about a dozen bids by today’s submission deadline, which was extended by a week due to increased interest, Crain’s reported. The plan to convert the space into a 400-room hotel will be part of an ongoing effort to transform the former office building into a mixed-used property that will include condos, restaurants and stores. More than 70 hotel operators had previously expressed interest in operating the Times Square property, according to Richard Marin, chairman and CEO of building owner Africa Israel Investments USA. Experts say the location would be ideal for anything except a super-luxury or down-market operator. According to Jon Fox, a hotel consultant at PKF Consulting, Africa Israel wouldn’t want a limited-service or budget hotel since that would be incompatible with its own plans to develop high-end condos at the top of the building. Africa Israel bought the 79,000-square-foot, 15-floor building for $525 million in 2007 and tried unsuccessfully to attract office tenants to the building before opting to reposition it. More than 60 percent of the lower levels has already been leased out to retailers. [Crain’s]