Hotel Chelsea in contract for over $80M

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Possible contenders Ian Schrager (top) and Andre Balazs with the Hotel Chelsea
A mystery buyer has agreed to buy the Hotel Chelsea for more than $80 million, triumphing over a pool of luminaries that for months have fueled intense speculation about the future of the landmark West 23rd Street property, Eastdil Secured broker Douglas Harmon confirmed to the Wall Street Journal. But the speculation doesn’t end here. Previously reported front-runners for the takeover of the legendary hotel included hoteliers Ian Schrager and Andre Balazs, former manager Stanley Bard and Tristar Capital’s David Edelstein. (On Monday, a tenant-written blog reported that Edelstein had emerged the victor, which a hotel spokesperson quickly denied). Today, the rumor mill churned out a few fresh names, including Aby Rosen, pop singer Marc Anthony and Google, but the Journal suggests that the buyer could be a dark horse bidder not previously thrown out in media reports. “There was a frenzy of interest for the hotel,” Harmon said. “We even had people bidding through a surrogate like it was a high-end art auction.” [WSJ]