The Four Seasons Hotel in Midtown may soon reopen, but a dispute between the building’s owner and the management company is casting a cloud over its possible return.
Owner Ty Warner and the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts brand, which manages the property, are butting heads over the hotel’s fees, according to the New York Post. Warner wants payments to the Four Seasons company adjusted based on profitability, while the brand does not.
Warner’s contention comes after the hotel’s two-year closure in the wake of the pandemic. The property’s stall in business could soon change, however, as the head of the hotel workers’ union told the Post preparations are taking place to reopen the 57 East 57th Street property in the spring.
The dispute may not prevent the hotel from reopening its doors, the Post reports, but it could pull both sides into a years-long legal battle.
During its closure, the hotel has been undergoing renovations, one of the only signs of life at the property aside from medical workers it housed for free for three months during the height of the pandemic.
Warner — the Chicago billionaire behind iconic toy brand Beanie Babies — has owned the 52-story hotel since 1999.
The disagreement over fees isn’t the only recent dispute involving the hotel. Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts last month filed a complaint alleging Zilli USA skipped out on rent for its lease on the ground floor of the hotel. The landlord delivered a default notice in August and is suing its retail client for $2.7 million in arrears.
New York City’s hotel industry is slowly showing more signs of life, with some properties spurred by a hotel worker severance bill that took effect this month. The 399-room Omni Berkshire Place, 1,300-room Grand Hyatt near Grand Central and the 1,900-room Hilton Midtown on Sixth Avenue were among those who announced reopening plans in the wake of the bill.
[NYP] — Holden Walter-Warner