The Real Deal New York

Essex House hits market, could net $1M per room

March 12, 2012 08:30AM

Dubai Investment Group has put the Jumeirah Essex House hotel on the market and could net $1 million per room for the sale, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The 44-story 509-room hotel, located at 160 Central Park South Near Seventh Avenue, opened in 1931 and was acquired by the Dubai government fund for about $440 million in 2005. It spent $90 million on renovations and converted about 150 units into condominiums, the Journal said.

The attempted sale is part of Dubai’s plan to reduce its U.S. holdings, and the first move Mark Walsh is making to improve the value of Dubai’s $1.1 billion real estate portfolio. Walsh is the former head of Lehman Brothers’ real estate group and now headed the Silverpeak Real Estate Partners. He began managing the 30 properties late in 2011.

Jones Lang LaSalle was tapped to market the property, and bidders are not required to keep Jumeirah Group, a division of Dubai Investment Group, as the hotel operator. After Manhattan’s hotel market rebounded early last year, the ownership sees this as a good time to sell, sources said.

Despite relatively low room rates for the area, Essex could command far more than Manhattan’s per-room average of $472,489. [WSJ]