A spectacular, multi-use mega-tower on the scale of One Vanderbilt will replace the run-down Roosevelt Hotel — once the migrants move out, that is.
The hotel’s owner, the government of Pakistan, officially signed brokerage JLL as its exclusive agent to market the precious Midtown property to developers and investors.
The choice of JLL after a highly competitive selection process was long speculated but only nailed down late last week.
JLL’s New York region CEO/president Peter Riguardi confirmed the deal to Reality Check on Friday Islamabad, the Pakistani capita:
“Pakistan hired us to evaluate the property’s potential as a mixed-use project combining retail, offices, a new hotel, condo apartments and event space all in a single building,” Riguardi said.
“We expect all the major developers and global capital sources to be interested. It will attract the greatest architects. The Roosevelt location is in the hottest part of New York City, close by Grand Central Terminal,” he said.
The hotel stands between Madison and Vanderbilt avenues and between East 45th and East 46th streets.
Riguardi said that because Roosevelt is bounded by four different streets, “It could have four separate entrances” for the various uses.
“We see the opportunity to build a massive project such as [SL Green’s] One Vanderbilt,” Riguardi added.
His marketing team also includes New York senior managing director Andrew Scandalios and managing director Sheheryar Hafeez.
However, there’s no rush to put out a formal request for proposals.
Riguardi noted that Vanderbilt-corridor rezoning, which propelled construction of supertall One Vanderbilt, could yield a much larger new skyscraper than the Roosevelt’s previous 800,000 square-foot limit in exchange for significant transit and public amenities.
“But first we have to perform all the due diligence” on what can be done, Riguardi said.
The city leased the Roosevelt from Pakistan last June for $220 million for three years to serve as a migrant shelter.
The time frame as well as changing market conditions made it impossible to say how much a sale might be worth by the time proposals are due, Riguardi said.
“We can’t answer that question because the elevator is rising and we don’t know how high it will go. The market’s poised for a turnaround,” he predicted.
A Dallas hotel company is putting a dozen properties up for sale to pay down debts.
Ashford Hospitality Trust has been struggling to deal with rising interest rates and loan maturities on hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages. Ashford owns about 100 hotels nationwide, including seven properties in Dallas-Fort Worth with more than 1,500 rooms.
Last year, the company said it was surrendering more than a dozen of its hotels to lenders after missing debt payments. Two of those properties were the Courtyard Plano Legacy Park and Residence Inn Plano.
Now Ashford said it’s offering a dozen of its hotels around the country for sale. The largest of those properties are in Atlanta, Boston, Savannah and Orlando.
“As we enter 2024, we are focused on paying off our strategic corporate financing,” Rob Hays, Ashford Trust’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said this week in a statement. “Between the excess proceeds from planned asset sales, excess proceeds from planned property refinancings, and proceeds from our non-traded preferred capital raise, we believe we have a viable path to pay off our strategic financing this year.
“Our hotel portfolio also continues to benefit from its geographic diversification, and I believe we are well-positioned to continue to outperform.”
Ashford previously sold a hotel in Florida – the 222-room WorldQuest Resort in Orlando – for $14.8 million.
The firm also said it’s in talks with lenders to refinance hotels in Atlanta, Nashville and Arlington, Va.
At the end of September, Ashford had about $3.6 billion in loans with an average interest rate of 7.9%.
Like other commercial property owners, the hotel firm has faced challenges to pay for loans made several years ago and often at lower interest rates.