- Ozgur Torus
Qatar’s Al Rayyan Tourism and Investment Company (ARTIC) announced that The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel in New York (which ARTIC acquired in 2014) is to become a W hotel. ARTIC has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Starwood Hotels & Resorts which will see Starwood take over the management of The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel. Under the MoU, ARTIC is fully renovating the Hotel, complying with Starwood’s exacting specifications for the W brand.
The renovation and conversion program is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and see an investment of some US$250million. On completion, the Hotel will become a W hotel, meeting strong demand in the city for the W’s chic, contemporary design and high quality service.
Built in 1962, the hotel is located at the heart of Mid-Town and combines the age-old glamor of New York and classic Art Deco detailing with a coveted Times Square location. The 22 storey property currently features 689 rooms and suites, commercial space and is within easy reach of numerous New York landmarks. The Hotel covers an entire block of 44,100sqm and is situated at 790 Seventh Avenue.
HE Sheikh Faisal Bin Qassim Al Thani, Chairman of ARTIC, commented: “ARTIC’s renovation and rebranding of this prime New York hotel under the iconic W brand is in line with our strategy of adding value to high quality assets in premium locations. We have developed a strong relationship with Starwood Hotels & Resorts in recent years and I am pleased to announce this latest agreement which further extends our collaboration with them. The US is a key market for us and I am confident that we will invest in more hotels there as we further enhance ARTIC’s portfolio of premium hotels and move towards a flotation of the Company on one of the international stock exchanges.”
Mr. Tarek M. El Sayed, Executive Board Member, said: “When we acquired The Manhattan at Times Square Hotel last year we said that we were planning a major renovation and for the Hotel to be managed by a leading international hotel company. Today’s announcement marks the next stage in that process and it also reflects our commitment to increase the value of our assets. We look forward to further enhancing our US presence as more opportunities arise.”