Aby Rosen plans to restore “Sleeping Beauty” Chrysler Building to Art Deco glory

The developer said he will draw inspiration from the building’s once-renowned Cloud Club, adding new restaurants, retail and an observation deck
April 03, 2019 12:21PM

Aby Rosen kissing Sleeping Beauty and the Chrysler Building (Credit: Covers and Getty Images)

Aby Rosen kissing Sleeping Beauty and the Chrysler Building (Credit: Covers and Getty Images)

Aby Rosen wants to wake the nearly 100-year-old office building Chrysler Building from its slumber.

“I see the building as a Sleeping Beauty: It needs to be woken up and revitalized,” Rosen told the New York Post.

Harking back to the Chrysler’s 1930s glory days, Rosen told the Post he wants to add multiple restaurant and retail spaces that could recreate the atmosphere of the once-famous Cloud Club, a glamorous members’ club that occupied the tower’s 66th through 69th floors. It closed in 1979.

Rosen said he’s in talks with Major Food group, of the Pool and the Grill, both restaurants based in his Seagram building. He is also speaking with Stephen Starr of Le Coucou, a restaurant at Rosen’s 11 Howard Street hotel. As well as high-end restaurant, Rosen, the head of RFR Realty, also plans to open a new observation deck at the building. The previous deck, the Celestial, closed in 1945.

As The Real Deal first reported, Rosen and partner Sigma Holding GmbH struck a $151 million deal to acquire the historic Art Deco property from Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, which bought a 90 percent stake a decade ago for $800 million. Rosen and his Austrian partner will need to perform hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrades to the property, which they’re considering converting from office use to a hotel.

Mubadala struggled with escalating ground lease payments — which rise to $41 million in 2028 — to Cooper Union, as well as increased competition and changing tenant preferences in the office market. [NYP] – Decca Muldowney