The Real Deal New York

AllianceBernstein pays $100.4M for George Washington Hotel’s ground lease

Owner Lloyd Goldman’s firm is restoring 23 Lexington Ave. into 417-room hotel
By E.B. Solomont | July 18, 2016 01:08PM


The George Washington Hotel at 23 Lexington Avenue (inset from top: AllianceBernstein’s Peter Kraus and Lloyd Goldman)

Hail to the (new) chief.

New York-based investment firm AllianceBernstein has scooped up a 99-year ground lease for the George Washington Hotel from Lloyd Goldman’s BLDG Management TRData LogoTINY for $100.4 million, property records show.

The hotel – which played host to the likes of poet W. H. Auden and novelist Christopher Isherwood in the 1930s – was most recently used as a student dormitory by the School of Visual Arts. In April, Goldman’s firm filed plans to restore the 148,767-square-foot property into a 417-room hotel, and add a restaurant, bar and ground-floor retail, according to permits filed with the city’s Department of Buildings.

BLDG, headed by Lloyd Goldman, bought the hotel through a foreclosure action in 1994. It made a bid of $6.8 million, court records show, but the final purchase price is unclear.

AllianceBernstein’s other investments in the city include $125 million in acquisition and pre-development financing for MetroLoft’s $125 million office-to-residential conversion at 20 Broad Street. The firm, which is headed by Peter Kraus, agreed last month to pay $540,000 in a settlement with the New York state Attorney General’s office over illegal buyouts at an Upper West Side condo conversion.

In March, BLDG paid $37 million for three rental walk-ups in Murray Hill, and the developer is currently building a 44-story apartment tower at 212-214 East 44th Street.