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Waldorf-Astoria Is a Thermometer for Luxury Condo Market

Midtown, Manhattan

Waldorf Downsize
March 22, 2018

If you want to take the temperature of New York City’s luxury condo market, your best thermometer might be located at 301 Park Avenue. There, the Chinese owners of the iconic Waldorf-Astoria Hotel have announced that they’re scaling back the number of luxury condo apartments they’re going to build in the building – from the originally announced 409 to 352, Bloomberg reports.

The temperature of Manhattan’s high-end residential market has fallen since China’s Anbang Insurance Group bought the Waldorf for $1.95 billion in 2015. In the fourth quarter of 2017, purchases of luxury homes – defined for the period as those priced at $3.895 million or more -– decreased 13 percent from a year earlier, according to data from appraiser Miller Samuel and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate

The future of the project, called the Towers at 301 Park Avenue, was cast into doubt last month when the Chinese government seized control of Anbang and said its chairman, Wu Xiaohui, had been prosecuted for economic crimes. The company said at the time that it was still committed to its overseas subsidiaries and would “provide necessary support to their healthy development,” the Real Deal reports. Construction at the Waldorf has continued despite the tumult at the company. 

The most recent filing with the state Attorney General’s office doesn’t include pricing information for the condos. Representatives for Anbang and Hilton Worldwide Holdings, which has a long-term contract to manage the Waldorf’s shrunken hotel component, declined to comment.

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