Highgate, Morris Moinian checking out Hotel Carter

Firms among six bidders for former Times Square flophouse

250 West 43rd Street (Inset: Tran Dinh Truong)
250 West 43rd Street (Inset: Tran Dinh Truong)

A winning bidder in the acquisition of the well-weathered Hotel Carter in Times Square is expected to be selected as soon as next week.

Highgate Hotels and Morris Moinian’s Fortuna Realty were among about six bidders to check out the 600-room property at 250 West 43rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues. One of the offers on the table is for $170 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. Lawrence Wolfe of Eastdil Secured has been marketing the property.

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GF Management has been operating the 24-story hotel since it hit the market at the end of last year. Elevating the hotel to a three-star level would cost more than $125 million and involve replacing the air-conditioning systems and elevators, GF’s John Cruz told the Wall Street Journal.

The hotel was named the dirtiest U.S. hotel by travel website TripAdvisor in 2006. About 30 rooms on the fourth floor have since received new Ikea furniture, framed artwork and other upgrades. Occupancy has grown to 74 percent, from 68 percent before GF Management stepped in.

Tran Dinh Truong owned the notorious flophouse from 1997 until he died in 2012, according to the New York Times. Then legal struggles plagued the hotel while Truong’s heirs sorted things out. [WSJ]Mark Maurer