A major renovation is in the works for the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel, which will be gutted and converted primarily to luxury apartments over a three-year period. The building will close for renovations starting in spring 2017 until 2020.
While the exact details of the renovation haven’t been revealed, The Wall Street Journal reports that the hotel’s owner Anbang Insurance Group plans to convert up to 1,100 of the hotel’s 1,413 rooms into private apartments and sell them as condominiums. The other 300-500 rooms will also be upgraded but will remain in use by the hotel.
Until recently, a similar plan was in place for the Sony Tower on Madison Avenue, but the building was sold to owners who scrapped a scheme to build luxury apartments in favor of offices.
The Waldorf Astoria is one of the world’s most famous hotels, and has been synonymous with luxury since opening in 1931. The architecture firm Schultze & Weaver designed the Art Deco style building in the late 1920s, after the hotel’s original building was torn down to make way for the Empire State Building.
High-profile tenants have included Marilyn Monroe, Winston Churchill, and Douglas MacArthur; currently there are fewer than 200 suites available for monthly rental. The hotel is a popular destination for celebrities and others looking for a luxury stay in New York.
Anbang Insurance Group will invest up to $1 billion in the renovation. The Chinese holding company purchased the hotel for $1.95 billion in 2014, making it the most expensive hotel sale in history.