New York Palace Sold to Korean Hotelier Lotte
The New York Palace Hotel, which opened in 1981 as the Helmsley Palace, will be sold to Lotte Hotels & Resorts, a Korean hotel operator.
Terms of the transaction, which is expected to close this summer, were not disclosed and the closing is subject to customary conditions.
The new owner is an affiliate of one of Korea’s biggest conglomerates, the Lotte Group, which posted $74 billion in annual revenue in 2013. Lotte Hotels & Resorts is one of the largest hoteliers in the Korean market.
The hotel was built around the Villard Houses, built in 1882 by Henry Villard, a railroad financier and designed by McKim, Mead, and White. In 1974, Harry Helmsley, a real estate developer, announced plans for a 55-story hotel that, with its dark bronze reflective glass design, would blend in with the Villard Houses.
Helmsley’s wife, Leona Helmsley, became famous as a flamboyant spokesperson for the property while also becoming infamous for her tyrannical management style, earning her the name “Queen of Mean” from the hotel’s staff. The nickname had its origins in the hotel’s advertising campaigns, which portrayed her as a queen who wanted nothing but the best for her guests, and proclaimed “It’s the only palace in the world where the queen stands guard.”
(Photo: Accura Media Group)