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Deals & Dealmakers

Korean investors close on $805M hotel deal

Hodges Ward Elliott has arranged the previously announced sale of Manhattan’s New York Palace Hotel for $805 million.

LOTTE Group, a South Korea-based owner and operator of luxury hotels, has now closed on the acquisition of the 909-room Midtown landmark, which is located on the corner of 50th Street and Madison Avenue, from Northwood Investors.

With this transaction, HWE has now completed $2.86 billion in deals throughout the New York City market since the beginning of 2014.

The announcement was made by Mark Elliott, HWE’s president and partner.

New York Palace Hotel
New York Palace Hotel

“We are delighted that we could assist in such a monumental transaction for the hotel industry,” said Elliott.

“The New York Palace Hotel is a world-renowned icon that attracts millions of visitors each year thanks to its brilliant blending of architecture, impeccable location in the heart of Midtown and unerring attention to its guests.”

Hotel Lotte Co. Ltd, an unlisted unit of Lotte Group, will lead the formation of a new company that will operate the Palace, a Lotte Group spokeswoman said.

“Hotel Lotte is a company that has been actively entering markets abroad. We have continuously been looking for fitting M&A opportunities and we have found one in New York with symbolic significance,” the spokeswoman said.

The company has been opening and buying hotels in Russia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan and Guam since 2010. It is also in the process of building hotels in China and Myanmar.

The New York Palace underwent a $160 million redesign in the fall of 2013 that reimagined the hotel’s luxurious rooms and suites in The Towers, a 176- room hotel-within-a-hotel. Located on the top 14 floors of the hotel, The Towers provides the personalized service of a boutique hotel complemented by opulent amenities such as exclusive maître d’etage butlers.

Additional renovations to the New York Palace included new lobbies and specialty suites; 24,000 square feet of refreshed event space; and improvements to a variety of upscale restaurants and cocktail lounges, including Trouble’s Trust, The Lobby Lounge, Tavern on 51, Rarities and Pomme Palais.

The transaction also includes the hotel’s landmarked Villard Mansion, which runs from 50th to 51st Street on Madison Avenue, and was restored concurrently with the adjacent New York Palace.

The Mansion’s exteriors, including the façade, roof and windows were restored and brought back to their original splendor.

In addition, a full mechanical and electrical upgrade to the interior space brought this historic icon into the 21st Century. The famed property features more than 200 feet of wrap-around frontage, a grand staircase, multiple fireplaces, high ceilings with elegant moldings and a magnificent courtyard.

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