Sahara India Pariwar, an India-based conglomerate, has completed the purchase of a 75 percent interest in the iconic Plaza Hotel New York from real estate company El Ad U.S. Holdings’ position in the hotel with a total valuation of $575 million. The acquisition includes 230 hotel rooms and retail space.
Co-owner Kingdom Holding Co., controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will retain its 25 percent stake in the property. Solid Rock Advisors, a real estate consulting firm specializing in luxury resort and hotel transactions, advised the seller in the transaction. The buyer was introduced by Blandford Goldsmith in London. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will continue to operate the hotel under a long-term agreement.
The Plaza Hotel is located on 59th Street and Central Park South in the Plaza District. The 807-room property last changed hands in 2004, when Israeli real estate investor El-Ad Properties bought the hotel from joint owners Millennium & Copthorne Hotels and Kingdom Investments for $765 million.
Designed by noted architect Henry Janeway Hardenburgh and built in 1907, the Plaza Hotel has hosted many notable guests, including Eleanor Roosevelt, the Beatles, Mark Twain and Groucho Marx. The property has also provided the setting for many classic films, including “The Great Gatsby” and “Home Alone II.”
“This was a great opportunity for the buyer to expand into a key U.S. market with the purchase of an irreplaceable asset, the Plaza Hotel,” Solid Rock’s President Greg Rice said in a statement. “The corner of 59th Street and Fifth Avenue is arguably one of the world’s most valuable pieces of real estate.
“The New York City hotel real estate market remains one of the world’s most attractive investments. It is the world’s most liquid market and is excellent for capital preservation as it consistently outperforms inflation. There also is upside in the hotel market as it has not yet reached pre-recession levels," Rice added. “While luxury hotels in New York City have been one of the harder hit segments of the hospitality industry, they will benefit from strong growth as room rates return to their peak levels.”