NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Waldorf Astoria Hotel is reportedly going to close for three years, and most of its rooms will be turned into condominiums.
The hotel will close in the spring of 2017 for a major renovation project.READ MORE: R. Kelly Found Guilty Of All Counts In Sex Trafficking, Racketeering Trial
The Wall Street Journal reported the landmark will convert 1,100 hotel rooms in to condos, leaving only 300 to 500 for hotel guests.
A spokesman for the hotel’s owner, Anbang Insurance Group, said an overall plan has not been finalized. Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. will still manage the property when it opens back up, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The newspaper reported the redevelopment will likely cost more than $1 billion.READ MORE: COVID Vaccine Mandate For New York City Teachers To Take Effect After Federal Appeals Court Lifts Temporary Ban
The Chinese insurance company bought the hotel from the Hilton Corporation in 2014.
For decades, the Waldorf Astoria had hosted presidents and dignitaries, but after the sale, the State Department and the White House checked out. There was no formal announcement made, but analysts said it likely had to do with Chinese spying.
“Because the Chinese have made so many cyberattacks and eavesdropping against the United States, it’s very prudent for the United States to make sure that all these important bilateral meetings with heads of state don’t take place where they’re going to be transmitted to China,” CBS News Foreign Affairs Analyst Pamela Falk said in 2015.
Millionaire William Waldorf Astor opened the first Waldorf Hotel at Fifth Avenue and 33rd Street in 1893. The Astoria Hotel was constructed on an adjacent site in 1897, according to the hotel’s website.MORE NEWS: Parents Of Immunocompromised Girl Say Long Island School District Refused Requests For Adequate Remote Option
The first Waldorf-Astoria closed in 1929 and was torn down to make way for the Empire State Building. The current hotel was completed in 1931 at 301 Park Ave. between 49th and 50th streets.