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Waldorf Astoria Owner Files Plans to Convert 31 Floors to Apartments

By Noah Hurowitz | November 14, 2016 8:50am | Updated on November 15, 2016 5:29pm
 The owner of the Waldorf Astoria has filed plans to convert many of its hotel rooms into apartments.
The owner of the Waldorf Astoria has filed plans to convert many of its hotel rooms into apartments.
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MIDTOWN — The owners of the Waldorf Astoria filed plans on Thursday to convert much of the landmarked hotel into residential units, according to Department of Buildings records.

Anbang, the Chinese insurance giant that owns the lavish hotel at 301 Park Ave., is looking to turn 500 hotel rooms into 321 apartments across 31 floors, and outfit the building with a new fitness center, retail space and restaurant, according to plans filed on Thursday.

The conversion will make the building residential from the 14th floor up, with the floors between the fifth and 14th stories left as hotel rooms, according to the plans, which were first reported by The Real Deal. 

The filing comes on the heels of a decision by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to hold a hearing on whether to grant landmark status to portions of the hotel’s interior, after preservationists lobbied to protect banquet halls and other areas that they say represent an indelible architectural and cultural history of the city.

The company, for its part, has previously expressed its willingness to respect the interior of the hotel's historic appearance, and said that it welcomed an interior landmark designation.

“Anbang knows the Waldorf’s history is a large part of what makes this hotel so special,” a spokesman said, following the commission's decision to consider the interior spaces earlier this month. “That’s why we fully support the LPC’s recommendation for what would be one of the most extensive interior landmark designations of any privately owned building in New York.”

Anbang, which did not immediately comment on the new renovation plans, would have to get approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission before the DOB approves the conversion.