16 March 2016 – New York Times
Eloise had better get ready for a new landlord — the historic Plaza hotel will hit the auction block next month, according to a report Wednesday. The foreclosure auction was triggered after 75 percent owner Sahara India Pariwar — an Indian conglomerate whose chairman was imprisoned in 2014 for defrauding investors — defaulted on loan agreements, Bloomberg News reported.
A second luxury hotel property, the Dream Downtown, located near the High Line in Chelsea, will be sold with The Plaza as part of a package, the report said. The two properties’ mortgage is currently held by billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben, who have reportedly scheduled a foreclosure auction for April 26. Built in 1907, the five-star Plaza has 282 hotel rooms and 152 privately owned condo units. But only the hotel, restaurants and retail shops will be sold.
The Reubens have been talking about an auction for a long time without actually putting mallet to block, skeptical hotel-industry insiders told The Post on Wednesday. But if the auction occurs, the price could top $1 billion, they said.
“The Baccarat just went for $2 million a key,” one hotel developer told The Post of the new West 53rd Street luxury hotel, which sold for $230 million last month to a China-based insurance group. “The Plaza will likely go for more,” as much as $3 million a key or more, “due to its trophy location on Fifth Avenue and its history,” the source said. “It’s been a dirty little secret that The Plaza has been headed to foreclosure,” an industry source said, adding that “there are some offers in the wings.”
The Plaza — and its famous, fictional resident, children’s-book character Eloise — has had many owners, including Donald Trump.