Week closes on strong note with big deals, development and renovations

The first week of December ended on a high note with an impressive array of development, deals and renovation news.

D.C. Digs
First, let's look at the momentous renovation news coming out of Washington, D.C. The Watergate, which will always be tied to the political scandal brought upon Richard Nixon—not to mention a comical scene from Forrest Gump—will reportedly reopen next summer following a $125-million renovation.

As The Washington Post reports, Euro Capital, with offices in Paris and New York, is putting up the capital into gutting and remaking the property, adding nearly 100 rooms, ballroom space, a spa and a rooftop lounge.

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“The hotel originally had no terraces and very little meeting space,” Euro Capital Principal Jacques Cohen told The Washington Post. “What we’re doing is creating 17,000 square feet of meeting space including a 7,000-square-foot ballroom with 16-foot ceilings and the hottest rooftop bar in town with a 350-person capacity.”

(A rendering of what a new guestroom will look like is pictured at right.)

The exterior of The Watergate will largely stay the same due to its listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

As The Post writes, if construction remains on schedule, the Watergate will just months before Donald Trump's D.C. hotel opens, a conversion of the Old Post Office.

Plaza Passes
North on 95, in Manhattan, there is new news on the sputtering sale of the Plaza hotel. The New York Post is reporting that a $680-million offer made by the Sultan of Brunei (owner of the embattled Dorchester Collection) to acquire the famed hotel was turned down by the Sahara Group.

Earlier this summer, the Sultan of Brunei has reportedly offered $2 billion to acquire three hotels currently owned by the Sahara Group: New York’s Plaza Hotel, London’s Grosvenor House and the Dream Hotel in lower Manhattan.

Sahara Group also reportedly turned down a $2.2-billion bid from Mirach Capital. That bid was also too low, our source said.

Instead, Mirach just made a loan to the Plaza in the sum of $1.55 billion.

More From Manhattan
In the city that never sleeps, another big hotel deal has just gone down. The Real Deal reports that Ashkenazy Acquisitions is in contract to buy the 655-room New York Marriott East Side for $290 million. 

The Prime Property Fund is selling the property, which it bought in 2005 for $284 million. The sellers also spent roughly $56 million on renovations.

The hotel is located on Lexington between East 48th and East 49th streets, and at roughly $443,000 per key, appears to be a deal. A 99-year lease on the Waldorf Astoria, currently in contract, works out to $1.3 million per room. The Sofitel, which has 398 rooms, went into contract for a total of $273 million, or $686,000 per key.