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Helmsley Hotel Heads for Auction With Condos in Its Future

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Talk of a condo conversion at Central Park South's Park Lane Hotel, owned by the estate of Leona Helmsley, has arisen several times over the past few years. The conversion plan is, we learn from the Journal, alive and well?with a twist. Last fall it seemed as though the hotel's owners planned to do the conversion themselves, but it turns out the building will be going up for auction instead. (And that earlier Department of Buildings filing was a test balloon for a conversion by a future owner.) A buyer could theoretically do with the building whatever he or she wished, but real estate experts say a condo conversion (or partial conversion) would be the best value. Two developers?Harry Macklowe and a Steven Witkoff/CIM Group joint venture?have already offered more than $600 million for the building, and the auction could happen "within weeks."

Of course, there are some complications to the hotel's going condo. Zoning is one hurdle, and the Board of Standards and Appeals is another. Then there's the hotel workers' union, which might protest a plan that would take away hotel jobs by, well, taking away part of the hotel.
· Helmsley Hotel on Central Park South is Set for Condos [WSJ]
· Helmsley Park Lane Hotel coverage [Curbed]