By Daniel Geiger
Cornerstone Real Estate Advisors has acquired the Algonquin Hotel for $82 million, according to people with direct knowledge of the purchase. The company, a subsidiary of Mass Mutual Life Insurance focused on real estate investment, has plans to upgrade the 174-room hotel, at 59 West 44th Street, to position it as a higher end offering and freshen up its facilities and amenities to maintain the property’s appeal among existing clientele.
HEI Hotels & Resorts, based out of Norwalk, Connecticut, was the seller in the transaction. Representatives at Cornerstone and HEI could not be reached for comment. Ben Tschann and Christopher Barker, lawyers from the firm Goodwin Procter who represented HEI in the deal, also could not be reached. Martin Polevoy, a partner at the firm DLA Piper who heads its real estate practice, handled the deal for Cornerstone. Polevoy could not be reached by press time.
Marriott operates the Algonquin under its Autograph Collection of vintage hotels and will continue to oversee the property for Cornerstone a source said. Built at the turn of the 19th century, the Algonquin became famous for its Round Table, a circle of writers and actors that frequented the hotel, including Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker, and Robert Sherwood.
The hotel market in the city has been one of the fastest areas of the real estate industry to recover, according to market experts.