Agadir- Joseph Chetrit, a Moroccan-born investor who left Morocco for the U.S. in the 1980s, has reportedly agreed to pay an estimated 190 million dollars to acquire Hotel Carter, a 600-room property on Manhattan's 43rd Street in New York.
Agadir- Joseph Chetrit, a Moroccan-born investor who left Morocco for the U.S. in the 1980s, has reportedly agreed to pay an estimated 190 million dollars to acquire Hotel Carter, a 600-room property on Manhattan’s 43rd Street in New York.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Chetrit, whose family worked in the textile industry before shifting focus to real estate in the 1990s, has amassed a large portfolio of commercial real estate in New York and other U.S. cities.
In 2013, he led a consortium in the 1.1 billion dollars acquisition of Manhattan’s Sony Building, which he is planning to convert partly into condominiums.
Dubbed as the most mysterious big shot in New York real estate, Mr. Chetrit, who was born to a Moroccan Jewish family, is well-known for being a big spender.
He has outsmarted many competitors for hotly contested properties in the past. In 2004, he and his partners paid 840 million dollars for what is now called the Willis Tower in Chicago, which for many years was the World’s tallest building. He also purchased New York’s famously bohemian Chelsea Hotel in 2011.
Yet, his latest move to purchase the Hotel Carter does not seem to be that smart or at least that’s what facts on the ground suggest in addition to people familiar with the real estate landscape in the Big Apple.
The hotel, which was designed by architect Emery Roth in 1930s, remains notorious for “petty crime and drug use even as much of the rest of the Theater District gentrified into a family-friendly tourist destination in the 1990s”, the wall Street Journal added.
Hotel Carter was named three times by TripAdvisor Inc. as the dirtiest hotel in the U.S., mainly for being a safe haven for cockroaches, bedbugs and for its strange odors.
Experts say that the property requires at least another 125 million dollars for safety and infrastructure upgrades to bring the building up to even three-star standards.
But for someone who was described as being “part of that nebulous group of New York real estate moguls wary of attention” and the “discreet and coolly negotiator”, you’ll never know for sure what these kind of guys are up to.