Waldorf Astoria To Close For Major Overhaul

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One of New York City’s most oldest and famous institutions is about to get a new look that would radically transform it.

The Waldorf Astoria has played a big role in the city, politically and culturally. Every President has stayed at the hotel since Herbert Hoover.

It may be as much as three years before the Waldorf Astoria gets the overhaul its new Chinese acquirer has in mind.

Anbang Insurance Group Co. purchased the landmark hotel for $1.95 billion last year, the biggest price ever for a U.S. hotel. The company is now finalizing plans for an extensive overhaul that would convert as many as three-quarters of its rooms into private apartments. This is according to people familiar with the matter.

The people said the restoration plans call for closing down the 1,413-room property in the spring, removing as many as 1,100 hotel rooms and eliminating hundreds of hotel jobs.

They also said that when the Waldorf reopens, the hotel will feature between 300 and 500 guest rooms upgraded to luxury standards. The remaining units will be sold as condominiums.

The insurer plans to meet with Waldorf representatives during the next couple of weeks to finalize its proposal for the property, some of the people said. “We continue to explore all options,” an Anbang spokesman said. “We have no definitive plans at this time.”

The redevelopment costs are expected to run to more than $1 billion.