Schrager waits out acquisition opportunities

Dec.December 14, 2011 05:48 PM

Hotelier Ian Schrager is waiting for “an avalanche of opportunities” to open up in 2012, he said, as experts predict a record number of foreclosures on hotels in the new year. In an interview with Newsweek, the hospitality titan, who recently announced that he will bring his first New York Public Hotel to a Herald Square site being developed by Durst Fetner Residential, attributed the delay in foreclosures to low interest rates.

“I’m waiting for that,” he said when asked if he might try to acquire some out-of-business hotels for bargain prices, “but so far this avalanche of opportunities hasn’t happened. Interest rates are so low, and prices haven’t even dropped yet, so that could be one explanation.”

Schrager, who opened the new Public Chicago hotel in October, noted that family apartments are where the action is happening in today’s market.

“Family apartments in New York are selling for astronomical prices,” he said, “$4,000, $5,000, $6,000 per square foot. The dollar is still cheap, and there’s a lot of South American and Chinese money. There also seems to be a bigger breach between very wealthy people and people who are not so fortunate.”

Schrager, a “nominal Democrat,” as described by Newsweek, said he’s undecided as to who to vote for in 2012.

“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” he said. “I like Mitt Romney, because he’s a very smart guy. I met him through the Marriotts. The question is whether anybody is going to be able to unseat Obama.”

Marriott International was recently revealed as the mysterious buyer of the Madison Square Park Clock Tower, it was previously reported; the company is partnering with Schrager, the brain’s behind the Delano Hotel in Miami, to bring an Edition Hotel to the building as well as 100 new hotels around the country. [Newsweek]

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