Despite putting some of its troubles behind it, the Park Lane Hotel, across from Central Park, is having a hard time finding a buyer, the New York Times reports. Interested parties were expected to make offers last week on the auction of the hotel, but none of the bids (and there were only a few of them) came anywhere close to the $1 billion, the owners were hoping for, sources told the Times.
Real estate industry experts the Times interviewed opined that the market was cooling off for such types of sales, and in the case of the Park Lane, the sale was also coupled with the property’s troubled past.
Here’s a little recap: Developers Harry Macklowe and Steven Witkoff purchased the hotel in 2013 for $654 million. They brought on now tainted investor Jho Low as a majority investor on the property. Plans initially called for replacing the hotel with an 855-foot tower designed by Herzog & de Meuron.
Things took a turn for the worse in the summer of 2016. Low became embroiled in the 1MDB scandal (read all about that here) and the Justice Department moved to seize Low’s assets in the U.S., which include the Park Lane Hotel. Steven Witkoff however worked out a deal with the Justice Department, which ultimately allowed the sale of the hotel to move forward.
This past, and a slowing hotel sales market may have contributed to the lack of offers. The owners of the hotel have said that while the conversion plan is still on the table, the hotel can continue to be operated as is. With its prime location, the hotel is often sold out, and makes enough money to cover its mortgage, according to the Times. Now it remains to be seen if a buyer actually comes forward.