New York’s famous Waldorf Astoria launches residences

The New York real estate market may be hot right now as the recovery gathers pace, but few developments can offer the history and prestige that comes with a dedication to the Waldorf Astoria hotel on Park Avenue in New York. York.

The National The luxury property series typically focuses on London, but this week we took a detour to one of New York’s most recognizable buildings, which is currently undergoing renovations to include designer residences.

The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria, 303 Park Avenue, New York 10022 – prices start at $ 1.8 million for a studio, $ 2.4 million for a one-bedroom apartment, $ 5.7 million for a two-bed, $ 9.5 million for a three-bed and $ 18.5 million m for a four-bed.

First opened in 1931 by the New York aristocrats of the Waldorf family, the 52-story hotel is currently undergoing a major renovation, as it restores the monument to its former 1930s heyday. as a ‘palace in the city’ with Art Deco elements throughout and showcases branded residences for the first time.

The hotel was closed for renovation in 2017 and when it reopens in 2023, the building will be split in two with the lower half dedicated to the hotel industry, with 375 rooms and the upper half reserved for 375 apartments ranging from studios to penthouses. of four bedrooms. , with 150 different floor plans to choose from.

The two 6,300-square-foot penthouses, each with one of the building’s signature green pentacles above, do not yet have an official price, but will sell for around $ 11,000 per square foot.

This will be the first time that investors will be able to purchase a permanent residence in the building, with buyers also receiving one of the largest amenity packages with 50,000 square feet of dedicated space, which is not shared with the hotel. This includes a spa, fitness room, 25-meter swimming pool, garden terraces, private restaurants, games room, cinema room and children’s playroom.

The original Waldorf hotel was built at a different location on 33rd Street and Fifth Avenue in 1893 by William Waldorf Astor. Four years later, his cousin and rival, John Jacob Astor IV, built an even larger hotel next door. The cousins ​​eventually agreed to a truce, and the two buildings were connected by a 300-foot marble hallway known as the Peacock Alley.

This building was then razed to the ground before the largest facility was erected on Park Avenue.

When the hotel first opened, it became the largest and tallest hotel in the world and the first to offer 24-hour room service, electric lighting and the first to “fabricate the weather” with the weather. air conditioner.

It has become a favorite haunt for royalty, celebrities and presidents, with stars ranging from Frank Sinatra to Marilyn Monroe staying there. The hotel also hosted the engagement party of Prince Albert of Monaco and Grace Kelly, as well as the John F Kennedy birthday gala while stars of American culture such as Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald and Mick Jagger s ‘are produced there and that the Duke and Duchess of Windsor made it their home after the Duke abdicated the British throne.

The hotel was also the source of many culinary firsts such as the Waldorf salad and the red velvet cake.

Why did you decide to restore it in the style of the 1930s?

Everyone has a connection with this building. They stayed here, lived here, or experienced significant events in their life. Every day we hear a Waldorf story from someone, so the power of the brand and the power of people’s personal experiences with this building really drives sales.

The hotel needed to be restored as it was a bit worn. And so we made the decision not to restore what it was when the doors closed, but what it was when they opened in 1931.

Why did you decide to launch branded residences?

It’s a huge trend all over the world and the hotel was pretty massive. So when [China-based Anbang Insurance Group] bought it in 2014, they wanted to modernize the hotel in a way that would really raise the bar.

So they wanted to make it a smaller, more luxurious hotel and the popularity of the branded residence is a smart game for a developer buying a large hotel.

What is the story behind the gold Art Deco statue on the front of the building?

The day after the site was inaugurated in 1929, the stock market collapsed. They thought, “OK, we’re going to build the tallest and tallest hotel in the world. We should therefore have an iconic work of art to sit on the front of the entrance to symbolize it ”.

So there was a sculpture competition to find this piece with 400 entries from all over the world. They chose the work of an Icelandic woman called Nina Saemundsson. She said the essence she put into the statue was the spirit of the people she met when she arrived in Manhattan as a young artist.

She therefore named her status Spirit of Achievement, and the statue will be completely revamped before being exhibited again.

Dan Tubb, Senior Sales Manager at The Towers of the Waldorf Astoria.

Update: December 27, 2021, 3:47 a.m.

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