Wall Street Developers Turning Condos Into Hotel Rooms


Luxury apartment buildings around Wall Street that have yet to sell all of their condos are turning some of those unwanted units into hotel rooms. Who’s staying there? Businessmen in town to deal with the financial crisis.

Crain’s New York: Building owners have long dabbled in the hospitality industry, illegally renting out empty units in their properties on a short-term or nightly basis. But in a new twist, the clandestine hotels are popping up in luxury apartment buildings in the financial district, where developers have struggled to sell all their units…

The downtown building boom led to a glut of luxury condo developments in former office buildings near Wall Street. As several of these high-rises remain unfilled, developers and landlords are making “other arrangements” to squeeze a return out of their investment.

Offering these vacant units as short-term “corporate housing,” which falls into a grey area of the law, they’ve found willing occupants in the influx of visiting professionals dealing with the unravelling of Wall Street, as well as tourists looking for deals…

The remaining units may not be sold for some time. Downtown condos have become even harder to sell recently, as prices in more desirable areas of the city drop, says real estate agent Avi Bellucha, an owner of a Manhattan Connection franchise.

“The major appeal of the financial district was getting into a luxury apartment building for less money,” Mr. Bellucha says. “Why would you move there now, when for the same amount you can get a great apartment in a proper neighbourhood?”