by Lisa A. Grimaldi | June 27, 2016
The 1,413-room Waldorf Astoria New York will convert up to 1,100 of its guest rooms into condos, according to press reports. The historic property, which was acquired by Chinese insurance firm Anbang in 2014 for nearly $2 billion, could be closed for up to three years during the project; the closure is slated for spring 2017. When completed, the renovated hotel will have anywhere between 300 to 500 guest rooms.
Angbang's acquisition of the iconic property attracted intense scrutiny from the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment over possible national-security concerns. President Barack Obama used to stay at the Waldorf when visiting United Nations headquarters in New York, but following the purchase has stayed elsewhere. In March 2016, the Chinese conglomerate agreed to pay Blackstone Group $6.5 billion for Strategic Hotels & Resorts, a portfolio of 16 properties that includes Four Seasons hotels in Washington, D.C.; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; and Silicon Valley, Calif.; as well as New York City's Essex House and the Ritz-Carlton south of San Francisco.