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Helmsley Hotel to become a Westin in $313.5M purchase

The Westin New York Grand Central

Host Hotels & Resorts said today that it closed on the $313.5 million sale of The Westin New York Grand Central, which will be reflagged under the Westin Hotels & Resorts brand in mid-2012 after an extensive renovation.  

Host Hotels, based in Bethesda, Md., said it will renovate the hotel, at 212 East 42nd Street, with a complete overhaul of its 775 guest rooms as well as a meeting space upgrade.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts, parent company of Westin, has already taken over management of the hotel. The deal appears to signify a renewed sense of strength in the New York luxury hotel market.

"It's part of a number of transactions that have had happened and likely to happen in terms of the turnover of New York City hotels," said John Fox, senior vice president of PKF Consulting.

Fox said the sale went for about $400,000 per room, $40,000 less per room than what the Doubletree Metropolitan at 569 Lexington Avenue traded for. Sunstone Hotel Investors in January bought out the 62 percent of the Doubletree Guest Suites Times Square that it didn't own for $37.5 million.

Host beat out 14 other bidders for the Helmsley, including Tishman Hotel & Realty. Darcy Stacom of CB Richard Ellis brokered the sale, but a final deed has not shown up in city records.

Host officials were not immediately available for comment, and Stacom was not available for comment.

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