Chinese publisher to add 16 floors in Midtown hotel conversion

WanXin Media bought an office building at the site for $68M last year

Wu Wensheng and 7-15 West 44th Street
Wu Wensheng and 7-15 West 44th Street

Chinese publisher WanXin Media is moving ahead with plans to convert the office building at 7-15 West 44th Street into a hotel, a permit application filed with the Department of Building on Tuesday shows.

The company will build on an additional 16 floors, bringing the height up from 12 stories to 28, according to the plans. WanXin’s hotel is set to hold 155 rooms in 90,375 square feet, indicating larger than average rooms for a Manhattan hotel. Hotel amenities planned for the project include a restaurant, tea room, private dining hall and ballroom.

An executive at the company who signed the permit application, Phillip Ding, could not immediately be reached for comment.

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WanXin bought the office building at 7-15 West 44th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues in May of last year, paying $68 million and announcing it would eventually convert the building to a “boutique luxury hotel and Chinese cultural center.”

It’s not unusual for large Chinese firms whose principal business has nothing to do with real estate to move into development. Two of the largest Chinese real estate owners in New York, Anbang Insurance Group and HNA Group, came from the insurance and travel industries, respectively.

Last year, WanXin, in partnership with another Chinese investment firm, acquired a stake in a portfolio of Chinese schools for $184 million.