Host Hotels sells New York City Westin to private-equity company

The Westin New York Grand Central was developed in 1981 by Harry Helmsley. Photo credit: Marriott International

JLL Hotels & Hospitality advised Host Hotels & Resorts on the sale of the 774-key Westin New York Grand Central located in Manhattan's Midtown submarket. Additionally, JLL secured acquisition financing for the asset.

Asset manager Davidson Kemper Capital Management acquired the hotel using $197 million in short-term, floating-rate debt supplied by Goldman Sachs. DKCM plans to invest more than $20 million in upgrades to the property in the coming months.

"New York's ongoing investment in infrastructure, such as East Midtown's approved rezoning plan, which will bring exciting new developments and further utilization of the area's public space and transit, is a major factor in the market's strength and made this transaction very appealing from an investment perspective," Jeffrey Davis, senior managing director at JLL, said in a statement. 

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Davis, alongside JLL CEO Gilda Perez-Alvarado, led the team on the sales transaction.

"We're seeing private equity continue to demonstrate its appetite for lodging product due to a strong economy, a desire to deploy capital and continued growth in leisure travel,” Perez-Alvarado said in a statement.

The Westin New York Grand Central was developed in 1981 by Harry Helmsley, with businesswoman Leona Helmsley’s estate selling the property for $313.5 million in 2011 to Host Hotels. The sale was followed by an 18-month, $75-million renovation to update the property’s decor.

Today, the hotel offers 13,000 square feet of meeting and event space, an on-site restaurant and a 3,000-square-foot fitness center.