Tommy Hilfiger Plans New York Hotel

Tommy Hilfiger, who took the preppy look and made it a global phenomenon, is now turnng his attention to hotels. The clothing designer plans to buy the landmark Metropolitan Life Clock Tower in New York for $170 million and convert it into a hotel.

This is not the first time that a fashion name has expanded into the hotel industry. Others include Versace in Australia and Dubai and Armani, also in Dubai. Richard Branson's newly formed Virgin Hotels is also looking actively in Manhattan for a hotel. "There are natural affinities between lifestyle hotels and fashion brands," said Bjorn Hanson, dean of New York University's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, to the Wall Street Journal.

Hilfiger has been looking to launch a hotel for some time, the Journal reports. Earlier this year, he and real-estate investor JSR Capital put in a bid of about $110 million for eight floors at the former New York Times building to create a hotel there, the Journal adds. They later pulled out. They also looked at the Hotel Chelsea, reports say.

The Clock Tower, at 5 Madison Ave., was completed in 1909 for use by insurer MetLife Inc. The 700-foot tower was the tallest building in the world until 1913.
 

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