A partnership led by Steven Witkoff’s Witkoff Group has reached an agreement with the estate of Leona Helmsley to Buy The Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South for north of $650 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. Witkoff and his partners intend to build luxury condominiums at the Central Park South site, sources told the Journal, but it remained unclear whether Witkoff would convert the existing 46-story hotel or raze it and build a new tower. Both options would come with challenges; tearing down the 370,000-square-foot building would only allow Witkoff to build a tower two-thirds that size due to zoning regulations, while the building’s low ceilings could make a conversion difficult.
A deal was signed Tuesday, the sources added. The iconic property hotel was put on the auction block in May, as Helmsley’s estate looked to cash in on the manic demand for condominium projects. Even before the auction, the Witkoff partnership and others including Harry Macklowe had put in nonbinding offers of over $600 million. [WSJ] – Hiten Samtani