Land under Dream Downtown hotel sells for $175M

The hotel was part of a lawsuit filed by a Hong Kong-based investor that was later dismissed

Dream Hotel Group's Sant Singh Chatwal (left) and Charles Holzer (right) and 355 West 16th Street (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)
Dream Hotel Group's Sant Singh Chatwal (left) and Charles Holzer (right) and 355 West 16th Street (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

The land under the trendy Dream Downtown hotel in Chelsea has sold for $175 million — though it won’t affect the hotel’s operations, according to the hotel’s management company.

The buyer of the hotel and retail condominium units at 355 West 16th Street was Worth Capital Holdings 52 LLC, with Charles R. Holzer as managing member, property records filed Friday with the New York City Department of Finance show.

Holzer appears to be the son of “Baby Jane” Holzer — also known as a Warhol Superstar in the 1960s, an art collector and a real estate investor. Charles Holzer, who goes by Rusty, also controls a Florida entity named Holzer Holdings LLC, which holds the deed to a detached condo in Wellington, Florida, and used Jane Holzer’s Manhattan townhouse as its mailing address, according to a public record from 2018.

Holzer couldn’t be reached for comment and a message left with the law firm that represented Holzer, Duval & Stachenfeld LLP, was not returned.

Bank of America provided $160 million in financing for the deal, which includes a $40 million gap mortgage. A representative for the bank also did not return messages seeking comment.

A mystery seller

Dream Hotel Group, chaired by hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, has long managed the 315-key, 12-story-tall hotel and has a long-term contract to continue to do so, the company’s CEO, Jay Stein told The Real Deal.

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

By signing up, you agree to TheRealDeal Terms of Use and acknowledge the data practices in our Privacy Policy.

But the firm wasn’t the seller of the land in the latest transaction. An affiliate of Dream Hotel Group and Indian conglomerate Sahara India Pariwar took on the ground lease for the building in 2012, Dream Hotel Group said in a statement.

“Neither Sahara or Dream Hotel Group, or any affiliate of theirs, have any ownership interest in the seller or the buyer of the land,” according to Dream Hotel’s statement. The company and Stein did not name the seller in the most recent transaction.

So who did own the land and sell it to Holzer?

Property records show the building’s deed last traded in 2007, when a company called 346 West 17th Street LLC bought the building — then known as the homeless shelter the Covenant House — for about $70 million. An article in The New York Times back then linked the sale of the shelter to Hampshire Hotels and Resorts, the predecessor to Dream Hotel Group that was listed as the “care of” company on the 2007 deed transfer. Property and state records also link London-based Francis C. Howard to that 346 West entity.

The most recent deed transfer was signed for the seller by M. Marc Dahan, the LLC’s assistant secretary and an attorney at Dahan & Nowick LLP, who did not return a request for comment.

A Hong Kong-based investor, JTS Trading Limited, in 2017 sued Sahara India Pariwar and Trinity White City Ventures for allegedly cutting JTS out of a possible deal to buy the hotel along with the Plaza and another hotel in London. A judge dismissed the lawsuit in 2017.

Haru Coryne contributed to this report.