Delay-plagued reopening of Waldorf Astoria pushed back to 2025: sources

Manhattan’s iconic Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which has been “Temporarily” closed since February 2017won’t reopen until at least 2025, sources told the Post.

delay in doing Rediscover the Art-Deco Jewel There is a continuing black eye for the Hilton brand – which is launching properties named “Waldorf Astoria” around the world – while the flagship remains a construction zone, sources said.

“They’ve just started working on it,” an insider said, referring to the hotel portion of the larger work, which involves converting most of the historic building at 301 Park Avenue into luxury condos.

A Hilton spokesman said the renovations would be completed 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,” a representative told the Post on Wednesday.

But two construction sources cast doubt on the target date — especially after earlier predictions that the hotel would reopen in 2019, 2021, 2022 proved premature.

“We’re lucky if it’s 2025,” said one of the sources.

There’s still plenty of work to do before guests can book a luxury suite or table for the hotel’s famous Sunday brunch.

The Waldorf has been a mainstay of the city’s festive fabric since 1931.

It has hosted American presidents, European royalty, Hollywood stars, and captains of industry. Musician Cole Porter lived there until his death in 1964.

His famous piano stood in the lobby off Peacock Alley until closing time.

Now, glimpses of parts of the ground floor reveal only a raw site.

building at the waldorf astoria
Two construction sources at the Landmark Building at 301 Park Avenue doubted the new target could even materialize.
Steve Cuozzo

Hilton itself seems unsure about the timing of its reopening.

Several former employees saw job postings online for positions including Director of Human Resources, but they are clearly out of date.

Sources said the Hilton suits were “livid” that their alleged principal hangs in the balance.

The spokesperson did not respond to queries about the tussle over the continuing delay.

He said industry insiders have repeatedly blamed foreign-owned entities for delayed reopenings, which have made the reopening a difficult task.

China’s Anbang Insurance — a holding company with little real estate experience — bought the Waldorf Astoria in 2014 for $1.95 billion.

It later closed the hotel to make way for a partial conversion into condos with price tags of up to $18 million.

Hilton Worldwide signed a 100-year contract to manage the Waldorf Astoria in 2014.

Landmark restorations are challenging.

Nevertheless, the Plaza Hotel, also a landmark, reopened in 2005 only three years after it was purchased by Israeli-based Elad Properties and partially converted to condos.

The revamped Waldorf hotel has 375 guest rooms, down from the original’s 1,400 – although the new rooms and suites will be twice as large as the original.

352 will occupy the bulk of the planned condo building.

But construction, which sources said is already cost over $2 billionWas cursed from day one.

Construction at the Waldorf Astoria.
The Waldorf Hotel has been relaunched with 375 guest rooms, down from the original 1,400.
Steve Cuozzo

The interior work proved to be more complex than expected.

Anbang was rocked in 2018 when chairman Wu Xiaohui was sentenced to 18 years in prison in China on corruption charges.

The Beijing government established a new company, Dajia Insurance Group, to take charge of Anbang’s overwhelmingly American portfolio.

Work was further slowed by the pandemic.

Then, in a significant blow to progress, Andrew Miller, the US executive in charge of the conversion project, quit last April because of delays and cost overruns.

A Waldorf representative did not say who had replaced him.

A few weeks after Miller’s exit, he told lifestyle magazine EQ that Dajia “carried an intense responsibility as stewards of the Waldorf Astoria to bring an unrivaled residential product to the New York City market.”

The Wall Street Journal reported in September that Dajia now plans to sell $1.3 billion of its other US properties, including the JW Marriott Essex House on Central Park South.

Dazia has spent a lot of money advertising the towers of the Waldorf Astoria Park Avenue Residences.

Sources said the units were being aggressively marketed to Chinese nationals and business owners looking for a safe haven for funds in the US.

It is not known whether any purchases have closed.

Dajia’s representatives could not be traced.

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