Marriott Buys NYC's Clock Tower for $165M, Plans New Luxury Hotel Brand
- Jan 25, 2012
January 25, 2012
By Nicholas Ziegler, News Editor
After acquiring New York City’s Clock Tower building at 5 Madison Ave. in 2007 for $200 million, Africa Israel USA has sold the property to Marriott International for $165 million. The building, also known by its full name of The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower, was constructed in 1909 and served as the world headquarters of the insurance firm until 2005.
The hotel chain plans to make the building its first location of the Edition brand, which was described as “a new luxury, lifestyle hotel brand created in partnership between Marriott International and [hotelier and real estate developer] Ian Schrager. According to Kew Management, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger signed a $170 million contract in May 2011 to transform the property into a hotel, but the deal fell through in September.
Vacant since 2007, the Clock Tower property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1978 and became a New York City landmark in 1989.
“We are delighted to have achieved such a strong price for this asset as a hotel property,” Laurie Golub, general counsel & managing director of business affairs of AFI, said. “It speaks to the unique nature of the building and the exciting location, which is underserved by the hospitality industry.”
The hospitality sector is likely trending upward, according to a year-end report by PKF Consulting. “Despite inconsistent economic news,” the report noted, “increases in lodging demand and property-level net operating income have most industry participants feeling optimistic that hotel property values are heading upward.”