New Yorker Hotel plans revamp

New York Business Journal/March 24, 2014

Historic art deco hotel, The New Yorker Hotel, is planning a massive makeover that will include a new lobby and conversion of commercial space to more rooms.

The hotel's owner, a subsidiary of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church, has spent $30 million on overhauling the lobby and ballroom, according to  The Wall Street Journal. Over the next three to five years, the owner also plans to convert large blocks of commercial space into 172 more rooms in the 42-story tower on Eighth Avenue at W. 34th Street.

As leases for commercial space expire, the owner of the 1.2 million-square-foot building will convert the space into hotel rooms. The final costs and details of the renovation plans will depend on the market. However, when complete, the hotel could have as many as 1,500 keys compared with its current 912, the Journal reported.

The New York opened at the beginning of the Great Depression and was frequented by the rich and famous, from FBI chief J. Edgar Hoover to Muhammad Ali. From 2000 until earlier this month, it had been operated as part of the Ramada chain, in a franchise agreement between Wyndham Worldwide Corp. and the Unification Church subsidiary. It is now under a new franchise deal and a Wyndham Hotel & Resorts property.

New York has experienced strong demand for hotel rooms recently with the growing number of tourists and business travelers. The number of hotel rooms in Manhattan is expected to grown to more than 90,000 by the end of 2014, about 10 percent higher than last summer, according Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, the Journal reported.

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