Cassa Hotel to be purchased, rebranded

[Updated at 12.30 p.m. with a comment from Assa] PCCP has agreed to provide a $65 milion senior loan to finance a Chinese company’s acquisition and repositioning of the Cassa Hotel & Residences at 70 West 45th Street, PCCP announced today.

The Chinese corporation, HNA Property Holding Group, is planning to complete a minor renovation of the building, which is newly constructed and was purchased from the original developer, according to the statement, and rebrand the 165-room hotel as a boutique luxury four-star hotel that will be managed by Viceroy Hotel Group.

“We are pleased to add this great property to our expanding portfolio of luxury hotels” Nicholas Clayton of Viceroy Hotel Group told Elite Traveler. “Presence in a major city like New York City is very important as we continue to establish the brand in the world’s leading destinations.

Cohen, senior vice president at PCCP, added: “This investment gives PCCP the opportunity to originate a loan at an attractive basis on a newly constructed luxury hotel in a market with strong fundamentals.”

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The loan is secured by the lower 24 stories of the 45-story tower, PCCP said.

The developer of the Cassa Hotel, Assa Properties filed for bankruptcy protection for the project last April, citing legal battles that have made it difficult to move units. Waterscape Resorts, an affiliate of Assa, said contractors and subcontractors had filed around $20 million in mechanic’s liens against the condominium-hotel in order to guarantee their payments, hindering sales and causing the developer to default.

The $130 million deal for the hotel section of the property included Assa Properties’ right to retain the Cassa name brand, Assa said.

“The sale of the hotel portion of Cassa is on target with our original business plan. We will continue to source new development projects here in New York City, and remain attentive to opportunities in international markets,” said Solly Assa, CEO of Assa. — Katherine Clarke