Manhattan’s iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which has been “temporarily” closed since February 2017, will not reopen until at least 2025, sources told The Post.
The ongoing delays to reopen the art-deco jewel is a continued black eye for the Hilton brand — which is launching “Waldorf Astoria”-named properties around the world while the flagship remains a construction zone, sources said.
“They just started work on it,” one insider said, referring to the hotel portion of the larger job, which involves converting much of the landmark building at 301 Park Avenue to luxury condos.
A Hilton spokesperson vowed the renovations will be done by next year.
“The property is expected to reopen in the second half of 2024” and “serve as the flagship for our entire Waldorf-Astoria brand,” the rep told The Post on Wednesday.
But two construction sources doubted the target date — especially after earlier predictions that the hotel would reopen in 2019, 2021, 2022 and this year proved premature.
“We’re lucky if it’s 2025,” one of the sources said.
There is still plenty of work left to do before guests can book a luxury suite or a table for the hotel’s famous Sunday brunch.
The Waldorf has been a mainstay of the city’s celebration fabric since 1931.
It has played host to US presidents, European royalty, Hollywood stars and captains of industry. Composer Cole Porter lived there until his death in 1964.
His famous piano stood in the lobby outside Peacock Alley up until the time of the closing.
Now, glimpses of parts of the ground floor reveal only a raw space.
Hilton itself seems unsure about the timing of the reopening.
Several former employees spotted online job postings for positions, including for an HR director, but they’re apparently out of date.
Sources said that Hilton suits were “livid” that their supposed flagship remains in limbo.
The spokesperson didn’t respond to questions about friction over the continued delays.
Industry insiders blame the repeatedly delayed reopening on foreign ownership entities that have bungled a difficult job, they said.
China’s Anbang Insurance — a holding company with little real estate experience — bought the Waldorf Astoria for $1.95 billion in 2014.
It later closed the hotel to make way for the partial conversion to condos, with price tags up to $18 million.
Hilton Worldwide signed a 100-year contract to manage the Waldorf Astoria in 2014.
Landmark restorations are challenging.
Yet, the Plaza Hotel, also a landmark, reopened only three years after it was purchased by Israeli-based Elad Properties in 2005 and partly converted to condos.
The re-launched Waldorf hotel is to have 375 guest rooms, down from the original 1,400 — although new rooms and suites will be twice as large as the original ones.
The 352 planned condos will take up the larger share of the building.
But construction, which sources said has already cost more than $2 billion, was cursed from Day One.
Interior work proved to be more complicated than first expected.
Anbang was thrown into disarray in 2018 when chairman Wu Xiaohui was sentenced to 18 years in prison in China on corruption charges.
The Beijing government set up a new company, Dajia Insurance Group, to take charge of Anbang’s overblown US portfolio.
Work was further slowed by the pandemic.
Then, in a crucial blow to progress, the American executive in charge of the conversion project, Andrew Miller, quit last April over the delays and cost overruns.
The Waldorf rep didn’t say who had replaced him.
Miller’s exit came just weeks after he told lifestyle magazine EQ that Dajia “embraced a profound responsibility as the stewards of the Waldorf Astoria to bring an unmatched residential product to the New York City market.”
Dajia now plans to sell $1.3 billion of its other US properties, the Wall Street Journal reported in September, including the JW Marriott Essex House on Central Park South.
Dajia has spent a fortune advertising the Towers of the Waldorf Astoria Park Avenue Residences.
Sources said the units were being aggressively marketed to Chinese citizens and business owners seeking safe havens for wealth in the US.
It was not known if any purchases have closed.
Representatives for Dajia could not be located.
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