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Highgate Holdings in Partnership with Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corporation
and Crown Acquisitions Acquire New York's Knickerbocker Hotel

Plans for Extensive Redevelopment Initiative are Underway


New York, NY – June 18, 2010
:  Highgate Holdings – in partnership with Ashkenazy Acquisitions Corporation and Crown Acquisitions – has acquired the historic Knickerbocker Hotel and an adjacent 10,000-square-foot lot at 1466 Broadway in Manhattan.
 
Originally developed by John Jacob Astor at the turn of the last century, the 300,000-square-foot Beaux-Arts building stands on the southeast corner of 42nd Street in the heart of the Times Square district along one of New York City’s most highly trafficked thoroughfares.
 
Having successfully overcome heavy competition for the site from dozens of potential buyers, the new owners will undertake a comprehensive mixed-use redevelopment initiative.  As part of the makeover, the partners will convert the building to an upscale boutique hotel, with high-end retail in its base.  In addition, the ownership team will develop the adjoining lot into a new luxury retail complex. 
 
The high-profile property’s rejuvenation will mark the latest milestone in the dramatic revival of the 42nd Street block between Broadway and Avenue of the Americas.  The street's renaissance -- which has been rapidly unfolding over the past decade -- has most notably included the opening of the 48-story Condé Nast building in 2000 and this year's completion of the 55-story One Bryant Park tower, Bank of America’s New York City headquarters.
 
The property -- also known as 6 Times Square -- had been under the control of Danske Bank. Danske Bank was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle during the sales process.
 
The new ownership group is uniquely qualified to execute the mixed-use revitalization of the property.  With a $6 billion global real estate portfolio concentrated primarily in hotels and lodging assets, Highgate has an excellent, international reputation in hospitality ownership and management.  Complementing Highgate's strengths in the hospitality space, both Ashkenazy and Crown are widely regarded as sophisticated owners and developers of prime retail assets.  
 
About Highgate Holdings
Highgate Holdings is a fully integrated hospitality management and real estate investment company.  Since its founding in 1988, the firm has owned, individually and with partners, more than 80 hotel properties with gross investment value exceeding $6 billion.  Highgate's present ownership and management portfolio includes more than 22,000 rooms, located primarily in urban gateways such as New York, San Francisco, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Paris.
 
About Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation
Headquartered in New York City, Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation is a private real estate investment firm that focuses on retail and office assets.  Ashkenazy Acquisition has acquired more than 13 million square feet of retail, office and residential properties throughout the United States and Canada.  With more than seventy properties and a combined value exceeding $5 billion, Ashkenazy Acquisition has a superior performance history in purchasing and managing premier assets. Ashkenazy Acquisition’s holdings include 650 Madison Avenue, Barney’s flagship Madison Avenue store, Chicago’s 700 N. Michigan Avenue, and Washington’s Union Station.
 
About Crown Acquisitions  
Crown Acquisitions, founded by Stanley Chera, has an ownership interest in more than 15 million square feet of retail and office property throughout North America.  With assets in major cities including New York, Chicago, Toronto, Philadelphia, Boston and Miami, Crown Acquisitions is recognized for its ability to optimize value through hands-on asset management and a keen focus on improving the retail components of each property.  An investor, owner, operator and developer, Crown Acquisitions' holdings include interests in more than 50 properties, such as World Trade Center towers 2, 3 and 4, Herald Center, 551 Fifth Avenue, 600 Broadway, 717 Fifth Avenue and 598 Madison Avenue in New York, 645 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and the Miami Merchant's Mart.  
 
About Jones Lang LaSalle
Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL) is a financial and professional services firm specializing in real estate. The firm offers integrated services delivered by expert teams worldwide to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying or investing in real estate. With 2009 global revenue of $2.5 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle serves clients in 60 countries from 750 locations worldwide, including 180 corporate offices.  The firm is an industry leader in property and corporate facility management services, with a portfolio of approximately 1.6 billion square feet worldwide. LaSalle Investment Management, the company’s investment management business, is one of the world’s largest and most diverse in real estate with approximately $40 billion of assets under management.
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Media Contact: 

Steve Vitoff
Sr VP  -  The Marino Organization
212-889-0808 x112
516-652-0785  cell
steve@themarino.org

 

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Also See: Highgate Holdings to Brand its 1,011-room Parc 55 Hotel San Francisco a Wyndham® / February 2010

Marriott International Announces Its 1,500th Hotel; San Francisco's Parc 55 Hotel Re-flagged as a Renaissance / April 1998
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