Schrager closes Public hotel amid coronavirus outbreak

The hotelier called it “one of the hardest things I have had to do in my entire career”

215 Chrystie Street (Credit: HFZ Capital Group)
215 Chrystie Street (Credit: HFZ Capital Group)

 Hospitality icon Ian Schrager said he just made one of the most difficult decisions of his career. 

Schrager is shutting the doors to his trendy downtown Public hotel until the coronavirus pandemic subsides, he announced on the hotel’s website Monday.

Schrager wrote it was “an agonizing decision for me and one of the hardest things I have had to do in my entire career.”

“In this case, closing is the most ethical, moral and humane thing to do in order to contain this illness and protect everybody,” he added. 

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Schrager could not be immediately reached for comment, but in an interview with the Wall Street Journal earlier this month he said occupancy at the 367-room hotel on the Lower East Side had dropped by 50 percent. The 28-story building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, also has 11 luxury condos and was refinanced last March.

Other hotels in the city have closed their doors as New York has gone into a virtual lockdown in order to slow the spread of Covid-19.

Hilton closed its 1,878-room Midtown location near Rockefeller Center, and the luxury  Baccarat Hotel on West 53rd Street has temporarily closed.

The New York Hotel Trades Council last week said roughly half of its 40,000 members have been laid off.

Contact Rich Bockmann at or 908-415-5229.