Market Overview

Chinese Investor Splurges Highest Amount Ever Paid for a U.S. Hotel on NYC's Waldorf Astoria


Most real estate insiders are no stranger to the news that Chinese investors are snatching up New York luxury properties with much gusto. But one investment company is setting itself apart by setting the record for most expensive property purchase this year, several reports said.

The NYC property that the company in question took off the market was the iconic 1,232-room Waldorf Astoria hotel, which sold for $1.95 billion, making the property the most expensive single hotel ever sold. Beijing’s Anbang Insurance Group bought the property from Hilton Worldwide Holdings (HLT), according to Bloomberg.

Anbang will be renovating Waldorf to convert “some of its higher floors to condominiums,” Bloomberg said.

Before the sale, the largest transaction for a commercial real estate building in New York was closed by a group of investors that include self-made billionaire and commercial real estate mogul Zhang Xin, co-founder of China’s largest commercial real estate developer Soho China Limited, Bloomberg said. Real Capital Analytics Inc. director of analytics Doug Murphy told the paper the investment group bought a 40 percent stake amounting to $1.4 billion in midtown Manhattan’s General Motors Building.

Across America, the most expensive single hotel purchase across America was the sale of Las Vegas’s The Cosmopolitan hotel and casino to NYC-based portfolio manager The Blackstone Group for $1.73 billion, according to a separate CNBC report.

According to a report on the Sydney Morning Herald, Hilton would use proceeds from the sale to purchase new hotel developments in the United States. It would continue to operate the hotel under a 100-year management contract with Anbang.

Hailed by Hilton hotel chain founder Conrad Hilton as “the Greatest of Them All,” The Waldorf-Astoria was “an object of desire” for the hotelier since it opened in 1931. Hilton bought the hotel in October 1949.

Citing data from Colliers International, real estate news web Csite The Real Deal noted that Chinese property investments in the U.S. in 2013 have reached nearly $16 billion from merely $70 million in 2008. Meanwhile, investments this year through the end of August has surpassed $8.5 billion, it added.  

Real Capital’s numbers revealed that overall, Chinese investors have purchased $2.7 billion worth of real estate assets so far this year, compared with last year’s 2.6 billion, Bloomberg reported.  

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The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.


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