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 Dubai Investment Group Acquires the Essex House Hotel from Strategic
Hotel Capital LLC;  Jumeirah Hospitality & Leisure Named to Replace
Starwood as Operator of the 605-room Hotel Bearing
Two Brands: Westin and St. Regis
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NEW YORK - Sept. 8, 2005 -- Dubai Investment Group has purchased the Essex House Hotel from Strategic Hotel Capital LLC. 

Dubai Investment Group is planning a $50 million renovation of the hotel to create a high-quality, five-star property of the Essex House. The hotel was built in 1931 and is acknowledged as one of the premier hotel locations at 160 Central Park South between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in New York City. The two components of the Essex House include the 501-room Westin and a 104-room St. Regis. There are currently 148 private residential condominiums located throughout the building and individually owned, of which 139 will not be included in the sale of the property. 

Dubai Investment Group noted that there would be no decrease in employment at the Essex House. Plans call for approximately 15% of the rooms to be converted to condominiums, with some 85% of the rooms becoming a premier hotel operation. As a luxury hotel, the Essex House will be fully staffed as a high-service, high-quality operation. 

"This investment by Dubai Investment Group represents our long-term commitment to the economic vitality of New York City. It is emblematic of our view that New York City and its hotel industry have a very strong and vibrant economic outlook," said Mohammed Al Gergawi, Executive Chairman of Dubai Holding, the parent company for Dubai Investment Group. "Our plan is to make the Essex House an icon that becomes a premier destination for visitors to New York City." 

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, "With the Dubai Investment Group closing on their purchase of the Essex House, another iconic hotel overlooking Central Park will be preserved and its unionized workforce protected. As part of the deal, the hotel will get a $50 million renovation, there will be no decrease of its 500 jobs, and approximately 85% of the rooms will be preserved. This is excellent news for New York's tourism and hospitality industries, which are a critical part of our City's economy, supporting more than a quarter-million jobs. And while the fact is that the number of hotel rooms in this City is growing, because of the ever-rising demand for housing in Manhattan, a number of our best-known hotels are undergoing condominium conversions. That's why we must encourage new hotel investment, like the deal being announced today, whenever possible. I thank the Dubai Investment Group for their investment in the future of New York and conserving part of our great City's rich history." 

"We are delighted that Dubai Investment Group is purchasing the Essex House as a hotel and will continue to operate it as a hotel," said Peter Ward, president of the New York Hotel Trade Council. "We support their plans to upgrade the level of service to make this one of New York's great hotels, and the union and its membership will work with them to achieve that goal." 
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Jumeirah Presents Plans for New York's Landmark 

NEW YORK - Sept. 8, 2005 -- Jumeirah Hospitality & Leisure has been named to replace Starwood as the hotel operator for New York's Essex House Hotel, following its acquisition today by Dubai Investment Group. Jumeirah will be working with Dubai Investment on a $50 million renovation of the Essex House to create a 500-room premier hotel property on Central Park South. The renovation is scheduled to begin in January. 

Jumeirah will assume management of the hotel in January 2006. Gerald Lawless, CEO of Jumeirah commented, "We feel privileged to have been awarded the management contract for this historic hotel. We recognize the responsibility we have to enhance the Essex House, and to consolidate its position as one of New York's few remaining truly landmark hotel experiences." 

Lawless added, "We plan to create a true contemporary classic in New York, reflecting the tradition of the hotel's historic past and the ambition of its luxurious future." 

The hotel will remain open during the renovation period, expected to be completed in 2006. Jumeirah management plans to retain the existing workforce at the hotel when it assumes operation of the hotel in January. 

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Strategic Hotel Capital LLC, the seller, is a private company whose principal shareholders are affiliates of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and investors advised by Prudential Real Estate Investors. 

About Dubai Investment Group 
Dubai Investment Group is a member of Dubai Holding and focuses on four key investment areas: real estate, financial services, industrials and securities. In real estate, the company acquires and invests in value-add projects and transactions. The firm has offices in New York, London and Dubai. 

About Dubai Holding 
Dubai Holding currently operates 20 companies in sectors including hospitality, tourism, real estate, technology, communications, finance, energy, health, biotechnology, research, education and humanitarianism.  

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Contact:

Hill & Knowlton
Athanasia Sfikas, 212-885-0415
athanasia.sfikas@hillandknowlton.com
 

Anne Bleeker - Director of Public Relations & Communications
Jumeirah International
PO Box 73137 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Telephone: +971 4 3300111, Extension 762
E-mail: Anne.Bleeker@Jumeirahinternational.com
Visit us at: www.jumeirahinternational.com
 

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Also See: Elad Properties Backs Down from Controversial Plan for the 805-room Plaza Hotel; Fewer Condos, More Hotel Rooms Provides Union with More Jobs Saved / April 2005
Jumeirah International Takes Over Management of The Carlton Tower, and The Lowndes from Hyatt International / Nov 2001


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