Anbang may be planning to convert 1000 of the 1400 hotel rooms in the legendary New York site into luxury condos after closing on their landmark acquisition over a year ago.
According to sources cited in Crain’s New York, Anbang’s vision is now coming into focus. Out of the hotel’s nearly 1,400 hotel rooms, the company may be gearing up to covert about 1,000 of them into luxury condos.
The mainland insurer’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui, had earlier hinted at plans to renovate the two towers of the Waldorf Astoria into luxury residential apartments to “reflect its culture and social status” just months after closing on the $1.95 billion acquisition from Hilton Hotels and Resorts.
The current plans for condo conversion are consistent with a filing submitted to New York’s Department of Finance in early 2015 when the company set aside 1.2 million square feet or about 75% of the building space for residential use. A spokesman for Anbang said the filing was a part of the purchase process and the large scale conversion wasn’t a certainty. “We continue to explore all options, and no definitive plans have been finalized at this time.”
In order for Anbang to convert the majority of the hotel into condos it would have to file plans with the state attorney general’s office.
As the structure currently stands, there are 1,232 hotel rooms and an additional 181 guest rooms that make up the Waldorf Tower hotel. New York City Council passed legislation last year making it illegal for hotels with more than 150 rooms to convert greater than 20 percent of the property for residential use without public review. However, the law included an exemption for recent deals such as the Waldorf acquisition.