Waldorf will stop taking reservations in February ahead of condo conversion

Anbang plans to convert 1,000 hotel rooms into luxury pads

The Waldorf Astoria hotel
The Waldorf Astoria hotel

Last call at the Waldorf! The iconic Midtown hotel won’t be taking reservations after Feb. 28, 2017 and the final checkout will be March 1 ahead of plans to renovate part of the hotel into luxury condominiums.

The dates were listed on a booking website run by Hilton Worldwide Holdings, according to Crain’s. “We have not finalized any plans in terms of the scope, nature and details of the renovation project or the exact timing and duration of the hotel’s closure,” a spokesperson for the hotel said.

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China’s Anbang Insurance Group purchased the Waldorf for $1.95 billion from the Blackstone Group [TRDataCustom] in late 2014, and subsequently disclosed plans to convert part of the hotel into luxury condos, as The Real Deal reported.

The $1 billion renovation is expected to take up to three years. Anbang, the Chinese insurer that earlier this year launched a $14 billion bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts and then curiously retreated, plans to convert roughly 1,000 out of 1,413 Waldorf hotel rooms into apartments.

In May, sources told Bloomberg that Chinese regulators were inspecting Anbang’s business model, which to date has seen heavy investment in U.S. real estate. According to the report, Chinese officials fear that large insurers’ focus on mostly illiquid assets like real estate could lead to a liquidity mismatch and prevent it from paying investors and policyholders should there be a capital run.  [Crain’s] — E.B. Solomont