Hotels pivot to office space to stanch losses

In New York, 44 hotel loans backed by $1.2B in bonds are delinquent

TRD NATIONAL /
Oct.October 06, 2020 04:00 PM
 The London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills and InterContinental Times Square in New York (right) (Google Maps; iStock)

The London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills and InterContinental Times Square in New York (right) (Google Maps; iStock)

Hotels across the country are pivoting to become offices as a way to survive the pandemic.

In New York, the 607-room InterContinental Times Square was transformed into housing for doctors and nurses treating coronavirus patients in the spring. Then it started to offer rooms as offices. And now the hotel will offer office space on a suite-by-suite basis, according to the New York Times.

At the 226-unit London West Hollywood in Beverly Hills, beds were removed to create work spaces to mimic boardrooms. An average of five spaces have been rented each month since June for $5,000, according to the Times.

The Hotel Figueroa, a renovated Spanish Colonial landmark in downtown Los Angeles, which housed medical workers early in the pandemic, has leased 200 offices since June for $25,000.

Hotels in major U.S. cities are doing whatever they can to generate revenue since the coronavirus caused a massive decline in tourism and occupancy. In New York, 44 hotel loans backed by bonds totaling $1.2 billion were delinquent in September, according to data from Trepp, the Times reported. Houston had 39 delinquent loans totaling $682 million, followed by Chicago with 29 delinquencies at $990 million.

In New York, 11,000 rooms in hotels were leased from April to July for medical workers from out of town or separating from their families. The rooms were also used by Covid-19 patients who were not able to quarantine at home.

Hotels in New York were also used to house homeless people. More than 60 hotels housed homeless residents, with the city paying $120 per room per night, the Times reported.

Some hotels are looking to rent out their space for remote learning. In September, five families rented a conference room at a Courtyard by Marriott in Elmhurst, Illinois, for their kids to attend school online. The gym class was in the hotel’s pool.

[NY Times— Keith Larsen


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