June 27, 2016 / 5:06 AM / 3 years ago

Anbang plans to convert most of Waldorf Astoria to apartments: WSJ

The Waldorf Astoria is pictured at 301 Park Avenue in New York October 6, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

NEW YORK (Reuters) - China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co [ANBANG.UL] plans to convert as much as three-quarters of the rooms at New York’s landmark Waldorf Astoria hotel into apartments, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The insurer, which bought the hotel from Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (HLT.N) in 2014 for $1.95 billion, plans to close the Waldorf for up to three years starting next spring, the report said.

“We have not finalized any plans in terms of the scope, nature and details of the renovation project or the exact timing and duration of the hotel’s closure. We are currently developing conceptual plans and will share additional details once those plans are finalized,” a U.S.-based spokesman for Anbang said.

It plans to convert as many as 1,100 of the hotel’s 1,413 rooms into condominiums, according to the Journal. When the hotel reopens, it will have 300 to 500 guest rooms.

The plan also calls for the hotel to cut hundreds of jobs, according to the report.

Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Dan Grebler and Gopakumar Warrier

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