It was just over two weeks ago when the Chinese government seized control of Anbang, the insurance giant who owned the NYC Waldorf Astoria as well as the JW Marriott Essex House on Central Park South. You’ll likely remember the name as Anbang is the same company who bid on Starwood prior to the Marriott merger.The Chinese government said that it was prosecuting the chairman of the company and that all its overseas assets would be managed by a group of officials from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC). It was rumored at the time that the group was looking to divest many of the overseas assets in order to bring cash back to China. Well, the New York Post is now reporting that the company is no longer interested in proceeding with the pricey $2 billion renovation that’s reducing the number of hotels room by 1K as the property transitions to mostly condos.
“Industry insiders say Beijing looks eager to unload the Park Avenue landmark after seizing it from Anbang. “It’s obvious the Waldorf will be on the market for sale,” says Geoffrey Mills, president of GAM Hospitality Advisors. “The question is, would the Chinese government want to be the owners of the Waldorf Astoria or are they looking to bring funds back to China, which is something they have already indicated.””
Hilton says it’s business as usual as they provide assurance that the property will continue to be managed under their watch regardless of any pending sale.