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Saudi Prince, Ashkenazy Plan To Buy The Plaza Hotel, Restore It To Former Glory

The Plaza Hotel in New York is closed amid the coronavirus.

The Plaza Hotel is officially up for sale, but parties that own a quarter of the iconic property have eyes on making sure it does not see a new owner.

Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., a New York firm that specializes in owning and rehabilitating historic structures, co-owns 25% of the Plaza with Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, The New York Times reports. The two have an option to match any offer on the other 75% now owned by Indian investor Subrata Roy. Roy is marketing his controlling interest in the property through JLL, but any buyer would reportedly have to bid more than the Saudi prince and his local partner are willing to pay. According to the CEO of the prince's real estate company, Sarmad Zok, that would be unlikely.

“We are not selling our stake and are comfortable with our rights relating to any sale by others,” Zok told the Times. “We are proud to have partnered with Ashkenazy to reinstate the glory of this unique asset.”

The Plaza, at its peak, was the premier hotel in New York City, hosting guests like F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Miles Davis and the Beatles. Some of its more famous sections, like the Oak Room, have been closed for years during renovations, but it still commands some of the highest room rates in the city. JLL International Director Jeffrey Davis, who is leading the marketing of the property, called it "the most iconic real estate asset in the world."

After the Waldorf Astoria sold to Anbang for nearly $2B at the peak of New York City's investment market, the city's hotel sector has been its hardest hit as occupancy rates stagnate and thousands of new rooms flood the market.