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Legislation To Hold Up Hotel-to-Condo Conversions Looms

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All over the city, rentals are being converted into profit-producing condos. The same is happening to churches. Hotels don't want to be next—at least, unionized workers don't want their employers to cave to the pressures of a booming real estate market and start turning rooms into apartments. They don't want their workplaces to go the way of the Plaza, and all those other hotels that followed suit around 2006.

So the New York Hotel Trades Council has found support in the City Council for legislation, the Post reports, that would require owners of hotels with more than 150 rooms"to prove financial need to a five-member 'Hotel Conversion Review Board' before turning more than 20 percent of its old rooms into condos."

Introduced in December, the bill was discussed by the council in a committee meeting earlier this month. It is "expected to sail through committee and to a council vote." City Council member Corey Johnson, who is supporting the bill, argues that 1,000 hotel jobs have been lost in conversions over the last 10 years. Meanwhile, critics say it will depress hotels' property values and provide a reason for developers not to build new hotels.

One question: Did the Waldorf-Astoria lock in its condo conversion just in time?
· Union's bill would limit hotels converting rooms to condos [NYP]
· Waldorf Astoria Jumps on Bandwagon, Plans Condo Conversion [Curbed]
· All Hotels coverage [Curbed]