The Excelsior Hotel – a century-old landmark on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that was shuttered during the pandemic – has been sold for nearly $80 million to a developer that specializes in converting buildings to pricey residential rentals, The Post has learned.
The Art Deco building at 45 W. 81st St., whose rooms overlook the American Museum of Natural History, was unloaded by its longtime family owner to John Young’s Emmut Properties, according to industry sources.
A local brokerage, RMB Properties, had been quietly marketing the 1922-era property, which has been among New York’s highest-profile hotel casualties of the coronavirus shutdowns nearly two years ago. Others include the Roosevelt Hotel near Grand Central Terminal and the century-old Hotel Pennsylvania across from Madison Square Garden, which now faces the wrecking ball.
Boasting sun-drenched rooms with sweeping views of Midtown, the Excelsior was also a popular tourist haunt on Thanksgiving, as its rooms offered prime views of the inflating of balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Despite being closed, the 133,000 square-foot hotel with 215 rooms has a city property tax bill of $1.3 million — with half of that due Jan. 1. And because the Excelsior failed to reopen by Nov. 1, a new city law called for the former owner, Harry Krakowski, to pay severance of $500 per week for 26 weeks for each of his employees.
“Even though it’s billed as a law to help workers, this law will likely force hotels like mine to close, leading to thousands of workers losing their jobs permanently,” Krakowski wrote in a Daily News op-ed last month. “This bill is forcing us to make the financial decision to sell our properties rather than lose more and more money every day waiting for tourists to come back so we can reopen.”
Contacted by The Post on Tuesday, Krakowski asked to be called back “in a couple of hours.”
Messages left for the buyer and brokerage were not returned by press time.