West Side Rag »Excelsior Hotel, West 81st Sold for Nearly $ 80 Million; New owner, known for “expensive rentals”

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Posted on December 29th, 2021 at 10:00 am by Carol Tannenhauser

For years the Excelsior Hotel was surrounded by scaffolding.

By Carol Tannenhauser

The Excelsior Hotel at 45 West 81st Street was sold for nearly $ 80 million to Emmut Properties, “a developer who specializes in converting buildings into expensive apartments,” the New York Post said Tuesday. The seller was Harry Krakowski.

The building is a landmark that originally opened in 1922 as a residential hotel under the name The Hotel Standish Hall. “Sometime in the 1950s it became the Excelsior,” says Overnight New York. “Until the late 1990s, it was a friendly budget hotel with old layers of paint on the walls, simple furniture, and $ 75 rooms. There was also a great old-fashioned cafe ($ 2.25 for cake and coffee) overseen by a hostess who looked like Tallulah Bankhead and wore evening gowns and marabou boas when placing jeans-clad diners for bagels and eggs . The hotel received a radical renovation in 1997, which brought it to the market and increased comfort … “

The Excelsior was a popular spot during the Thanksgiving holiday due to its location on West 81st Street, one of the blocks where balloons are inflated for Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Excelsior was also once home to the Latin American restaurant Calle Ocho, which opened there in 1998. Calle Ocho eventually moved to 2756 Broadway on 106th Street.

From around 2016, the Excelsior was used by the city to accommodate families affected by homelessness. WSR reported in August 2016 [the City] “Rented some rooms at this commercial hotel to meet its legal obligation to provide shelter for homeless New Yorkers that would otherwise be left on the streets. While this hotel is not being converted into a homeless shelter, the DHS provides 24/7 security and on-site social services for families during their stay. “

According to Post, the former owner was struggling with financial problems that led to the hotel being sold. “Despite its closure, the 215-room, 133,000-square-foot hotel has a city property tax of US $ 1.3 million – half of which is due on January 1st, and former owner Harry Krakowski received US $ 500 for 26 weeks -Dollars per week for each of his employees. “


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