New York's Essex House Hotel Up for Sale

Major news from New York's luxury hotel scene today: The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Dubai owner of the Jumeirah Essex House, the art deco hotel on the southern edge of Central Park, is putting the property up for sale.

A subsidiary of the Dubai Holding investment company controlled by the emirate's ruler bought the 44-story luxury hotel in September 2005. It has been managed by a sister company, Dubai Holding's Jumeirah Group hotel division, since shortly after the acquisition.

Jumeirah said the hotel's owner, Dubai Investment Group, has "appointed advisers to explore opportunities" for the property—typically a euphemism for shopping for buyers.

DIG is part of a larger investment company known as Dubai Group, which in turn is part of the sprawling Dubai Holding firm personally controlled by Dubai's ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The Essex House owner has reportedly spent more than a year trying to convince its lenders to agree to new terms on some $10 billion of debt it holds. No deal has been reached yet.

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