By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Dubai Investment Group, the owner of New York’s 81-year-old Jumeirah Essex House, is looking for potential buyers for the luxurious hotel—located prominently on the south end of Central Park between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. Easy to spot thanks to its unique neon rooftop sign, the art-deco building has been a Manhattan landmark for decades.
Designed by architect Frank Grad as the Park Tower Hotel, the 44-story high-end facility first opened its doors in 1931. Over the years, the building has changed ownership several times. In 1946, it was purchased by Samuel H. Goling, chairman of Sterling National Bank and Trust Company; it then became a Marriott hotel in 1969 and a Nikko hotel in 1985.
In September 2005, the building was acquired by Dubai Investment Group—a subsidiary of Dubai Holding owned by Dubai’s ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum—who initiated a $90 million renovation program under direct management of the Group’s hotel division, Jumeirah.
The decision to sell the property seems to be a direct result of the growing debt accumulated by Dubai Holding and particularly by Dubai Investment Group, who over the last year had several attempts to convince its lenders to agree to new terms on some $10 billion worth of debt.
Also available for sale in New York City is a 15,137-square-foot buildable parcel at 115 E. 97th in Manhattan’s Upper East Side under exclusive brokerage marketing of Denham Wolf. Kenbar Management, the site’s owner, hopes to fetch $21.5 million for the lot. According to Crain’s New York Business, the site is zoned for a school, medical facility, student housing or a senior center.
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Photo courtesy of Jumeirah official website