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Apollo To Buy Hilton Times Square For 35% Of Last Sale Price

The Hilton Times Square is the latest NYC hotel to sell at a massive discount amid the pandemic.

The pandemic forced many of New York City’s biggest hotels to close, including the Hilton Times Square. But with new ownership, the hotel is poised for a comeback.

Apollo Global Management and investor Newbond Holdings have agreed to buy the 487-room hotel for $85M, with plans to close the deal this summer and reopen in the fall, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Apollo and Newbond are purchasing the 478-key hotel at a significant discount: The property cost its former owner, California-based real estate investment trust Sunstone Hotel Investors, $242.5M when it first acquired the property in 2006.

Sunstone turned over the keys to the hotel to Torchlight Investors in December 2021, Crain's New York Business reported at the time. The hotel was given a new valuation of $93.8M in February, nearly $9M more than what Apollo and Newbond reportedly agreed to pay. 

Although the Hilton Times Square is one of the pandemic’s largest hotel casualties in NYC, the property had been losing revenue since before the coronavirus swept through the city. Its debt service coverage ratio dipped to 0.97 in 2019, meaning revenue was failing to cover its mortgage costs.

The property is also subject to a ground lease, which Torchlight restructured, per Crain's, complicating its revenue picture.

Investors are now seeing opportunities in the low prices and increasing tourism in the city, snapping up hotels at sizable discounts. In March, MCR Hotels bought the Sheraton New York Times Square for $365M from Host Hotels & Resorts, which originally purchased the property in 2006 for $738M. 

Several of the area’s other large hotels have sold at massive discounts within the past year, including the Midtown DoubleTree at 569 Lexington Ave., The Empire Hotel on West 63rd Street and the Upper West Side’s Excelsior Hotel. Several other hotel owners have also turned properties over to lenders rather than go through foreclosure, as Sunstone did.