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Thread: The Plaza Hotel - 768 Fifth Avenue at Central Park South - by Henry J Hardenbergh

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    Default The Plaza Hotel - 768 Fifth Avenue at Central Park South - by Henry J Hardenbergh

    Pulitzer Fountain and the Plaza Hotel at night.


  2. #2

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    Beautiful!
    I cannot WAIT until my trip. The city is amazing at night.

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    Newsday
    August 13, 2004

    Plaza Hotel to be sold in $675M deal

    Associated Press




    The Plaza Hotel is shown August 11, 2004 in New York City. British firm Millennium & Copthorne sold its stake New York's Plaza Hotel in a $675 million deal on August 13, 2004. Millennium & Copthorne was not the full owner but held a 50 percent stake in Plaza Operating Partners which is selling it on to U.S. property firm El Ad Properties NY LLC. The other 50 percent of Plaza Operating Partners is owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

    LONDON -- The owners of New York's struggling Plaza Hotel are selling it to a U.S. investment group in a $675 million cash deal.

    International hotel group Millennium & Copthorne said Friday that Plaza Operating Partners, in which it has a 50 percent stake, has agreed to sell the prestigious but underperforming hotel to CPS One, an affiliate of U.S. property investment group El Ad Properties. The transaction includes the adjoining property on Fifth Avenue.

    The other 50 percent of Plaza Operating Partners is owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, but it was not immediately clear if the $675 million would be split evenly between the two stakeholders.

    The deal is expected to close by the end of the year.

    Millennium & Copthorne said it would use sale proceeds to reduce debt. The group, which operates almost 100 four-star and five-star hotels in 16 countries, said last week that its outlook is improving after a sharp fall in profitability last year linked to the SARS crisis and the Iraq war.

    Copyright © 2004 Newsday, Inc.

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    August 14, 2004

    Eloise Gets a New Landlord: Plaza Sells for $675 Million

    By JAMES BARRON


    An Israeli developer is buying the Plaza, celebrated in fact and fiction, for a record price per room.

    The Plaza Hotel, where F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald pranced in the fountain and Eloise burbled "Oooooooo, I absolutely love the Plaza" as she pranced through the corridors, is being sold to the New York unit of an Israeli developer for $675 million.

    The Plaza's new owner (and thus the new landlord of Eloise, the fictional 6-year-old heroine of the children's books by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight) is Elad Properties. While the price is not a record for a hotel in New York, the per-room price - a measure analysts routinely calculate - is, said Sean Hennessey, who follows the New York hotel market for Lodging Investment Advisers, a consulting firm.

    Elad is paying $838,509 a room, a sign, Mr. Hennessey said, that the hotel market is rebounding from the Sept. 11 terror attacks. He said that room rates for hotels in New York had risen 9 percent this year, far outpacing inflation.

    "The operating fundamentals are improving," he said, "so there have been a lot of investors and sellers who were sitting on the sidelines in the downturn that followed 9/11, waiting for market conditions to firm up enough to put their properties up for sale or jump in and buy them."

    Since 1995, the Plaza has been owned by one of the world's wealthiest men, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdul Aziz Alsaud of Saudi Arabia, and Millennium & Copthorne, a London-based company that runs hotels in 16 countries. The prince, a nephew of King Fahd, made headlines after the Sept. 11 attacks when he offered to donate $10 million to the City of New York, and Rudolph W. Giuliani, the mayor at the time, accepted but then returned the check.

    Mr. Giuliani sent the check back after learning that in a news release, the prince had criticized the American government's policies in the Middle East.

    The prince and Millennium & Copthorne paid Donald J. Trump $325 million and spent $40 million on renovations. But based on figures from Millennium & Copthorne, the Plaza had a pretax loss of $1.8 million last year.

    "It's an icon, but the price is too good to refuse," Kwek Leng Beng, the chairman of Millennium & Copthorne, said at a news conference in Singapore, according to Bloomberg News. "The prince is very happy - he's invited me to Paris, where he wants to give me a big dinner."

    Miki Naftali, president and chief executive of Elad Properties, issued a statement through a spokesman, who declined to discuss Elad's plans for the Plaza. A real estate executive who had been briefed on the deal said Elad was considering turning some of the Plaza's 805 rooms into condominiums.

    Mr. Trump talked about the same idea when he controlled the Plaza in the early 1990's. He said at the time that condominiums would not turn the turreted French Renaissance landmark into the Manhattan version of a time-share in the Catskills, though some architectural historians called the plan heresy.

    "The flavor of the project is similar to what Trump had in mind," the executive who had been briefed on the deal said. "It's going to be a high-end condominium with hotel services."

    Elad has built condominiums in a couple of other buildings it has renovated in New York recently: one a former United Federation of Teachers office building on East 21st Street near Gramercy Park, another the old Mercantile Library building at Astor Place and Broadway.

    For his part, Mr. Kwek said the Plaza still needed work.

    "The hotel needs renovation, and I don't want to spend any more money on it," Mr. Kwek was quoted as saying. He said that in its best year, 2000, the Plaza had a profit of $45 million.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    I'm shocked to hear that the Plaza isn't doing well. I thought I heard that hotel occupancy rates were back up very close with pre-9/11 levels. It's strange that one of NYC's most popular hotels isn't making a similar come-back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottebaum
    I'm shocked to hear that the Plaza isn't doing well. I thought I heard that hotel occupancy rates were back up very close with pre-9/11 levels. It's strange that one of NYC's most popular hotels isn't making a similar come-back.
    I posted an article here: http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewt...3&start=60

    This says that the hotel has 805 rooms and can't charge the same premiums as other luxury properties with only 200 - 400 rooms.

    Part will be converted to insanely priced condos to 1) Raise cash and 20 Decrease the rooms and allow for rate raises.

    Maybe this would do the trick.

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    PLAZA TO SHUT FOR MAKEOVER

    January 17, 2005 -- Better call the Waldorf, Eloise! — The Plaza will be shut down this May for extensive renovations, a new report says.

    "Inquiries about booking special events at the hotel after April are answered with a cautionary warning," according to Crain's New York Business.

    "The catering department is advising people not to plan parties at The Plaza for May and beyond."

    Early next month, the famous hotel will shutter its historic Oak Room and Oyster Bar restaurants.


    As The Post has reported, Elad Properties, which now owns the hotel, plans to turn The Plaza's top floors into condos. But it's expected that some hotel rooms will still be available.

    It's not clear when the hotel will reopen.


    Bill Hoffmann

    Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc

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    (The Plaza)

    By STEVE CUOZZO

    January 18, 2005


    The suspense continues to mount over what's going to happen at the Plaza Hotel. Israeli-owned Elad Properties bought the landmarked Plaza last summer for $675 million and remains disappointingly mum, despite a hemmorhage of rumors.

    Crain's reported the hotel closing in May. Hotel employees told The Post that 600 of 800 rooms will be converted to condos. The Times reported the grand ballroom might be doomed.

    Although the prospect of the Plaza being boarded up for two years isn't pretty, Elad is entitled to do what it wants with the interior. But unlike smaller properties that Elad has handled sensitively, the Plaza is not merely a legal landmark, but an emotional landmark at a fabled location.

    New Yorkers have a right to know what's up. The goodwill Elad CEO Miki Naftali has earned may be squandered unless the company stops behaving as if it's nobody's business.


    Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    What a nice hotel !!!

  10. #10

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    Oddly enough, The Plaza was Frank Lloyd Wright's home away from home. He did alot of moaning and groaning about how awful a place New York had become but LOVED The Plaza.

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    The Plaza's plaza must have been grand back in the day. How weird that I regret the demolition of Penn Station and the Savoy-Plaza Hotel when I wasn't even alive to see them intact.

    It would be pretty interesting if some developer got the idea to replace the GM Building with a mixed-use supertall, with a 450-foot base that echoes the massing of the old S-P and a shaft that steps back respectfully from the streetwall.

    That's my flight of fancy for the day.

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    PLAZA'S GOING RETAIL


    By HILARY KRAMER
    January 23, 2005

    The Plaza hotel is looking for high-end boutiques like Versace and specialty food shops like Zabar's — as well as a hotel management company — as it transforms itself into a condo/retail center.

    A source close to the historic hotel's operators say The Plaza has approached specialty food shops about moving into the space previously occupied by the Oak Room restaurant. The owners also want a designer shop for the ground floor.

    "It's too small for a big department store and it's a landmarked building, so big windows can't be created on the façade," the source said. "It must be a destination store . . . we may even see a spa or entertainment."

    Once home to Vanderbilts and Hitchcocks, the 98-year-old hotel will shut its doors for 18 to 24 months on April 30, after which the building will be remodeled into condominiums and retail space. Only about 80 of The Plaza's 805 rooms will remain as a hotel.

    The makeover is the brainchild of reclusive Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, who bought the Plaza for $675 million last year. The hotel has lost money since the World Trade Center attacks, but Tshuva is willing to sit on his investment — since a one-bedroom condo in the building could fetch as much as $3 million.

    There's no shortage of interest. The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Tshuva had spoken to celebrities like John Travolta about buying a unit.

    "The Plaza will fly big time for those wanting pied-a-terres and apartments in the best location," says William Costigan, a high-end broker who just sold a $12 million apartment on Central Park. "The Europeans are able to buy here for less. You are buying a piece of New York history. There a several rooms in there that are gems."

    Hotel companies — Starwood, Marriott, CNL Hospitality Properties and Interstate among them — are less enthusiastic.

    Although they would provide service to the whole building, including condos, they want at least some high-end rooms that face Central Park.

    A source says Tshuva and his company want most of those spaces for permanent tenants.

    Tshuva wants a deal soon, and hopes to get construction rolling as soon as the last suitcase is out the door.

    "He is looking to do this fast and is under pressure to go to market as quickly as possible, because although the market is good for luxury condos now, there's no telling how long that will last," said Peter Slatin, of the real-estate newsletter the Slatin Report.

    "He wants to beat others and is on track to beat the developers of the Mayflower Hotel on Central Park West."

    Tshuva, a scruffy Israeli refugee turned real-estate mogul, is expanding his holdings in the United States. He bought the 32-story BellSouth building in Jacksonville, Fla., for $91 million, The Gift Building at 225 Fifth Ave. for $125 million and converted 21 Astor Place to condominiums.

    But Tshuva is facing resistance from those who want the storied hotel to remain unchanged. In answer to these critics, his company's CEO, the savvy Miki Naftali, has mounted a publicity campaign to convince residents that remaking The Plaza's interior — while retaining its French Renaissance exterior — is the best way to save it.

    Tshuva actually has history on his side. When The Plaza opened in 1907, it was used primarily as a residence for wealthy New Yorkers such as Alfred Vanderbilt. The famous flocked to its doors. Alfred Hitchcock shot parts of "North by Northwest" there, and it was the site of the Catherine Zeta-Jones/Michael Douglas wedding reception.

    Ernest Hemingway once counseled F. Scott Fitzgerald that he should leave his liver to Princeton and his heart to The Plaza. Just don't forget your luggage — after April 30, you probably won't get it back.


    Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    Only 80 hotel rooms? What a shame.

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    Imagine the rates on those 80 rooms. They were steep with 10 times that!

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