The Landmarks Preservation Commission has unanimously approved additional alterations to The Waldorf Astoria‘s grand ballroom, the latest phase of the historic hotel’s years-long residential conversion. Led by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) for Dajia US, the building’s current owner, the project will help restore the ballroom to its heralded Art Deco conditions that have since been designated a New York City landmark.
The 47-story skyscraper is located at 301 Park Avenue in Midtown East, and was designed by Schultze & Weaver and completed in 1931. Alterations to the grand ballroom will include the replacement of non-historic balcony railings with polished steel railings and frameless glass panels that resemble original conditions. The team will also update the ballroom’s main stage and the install new light fixtures throughout the space, a chandelier above each balcony, and elegant beige wall treatments with gold accents.
The existing grand chandelier above the ballroom floor is noticeably absent from updated architectural renderings. Instead, there is now a gold placard surrounded by three tiers of recessed lighting and modest gold accents.
When complete, the building is expected to comprise 375 condominium units and over 50,000 square feet of amenities. As reported in 2022, the building will also retain 375 hotel rooms.
For condominium owners, health and wellness amenities will include an indoor lap pool, a fitness center with private training studios, a sauna and steam room, and a spa with private treatment rooms. Residents will have access to several indoor and outdoor lounge areas, a catering kitchen, private dining rooms, a screening room, and a wine tasting room with private wine vaults for purchase.
Additional spaces include on-site parking with 24-hour valet service and a coworking suite with private offices, boardrooms, and conference rooms that can also be reserved for private use.
The project was originally expected to debut in 2021, but has been beset with construction delays and substantial cost overruns. When last reported in 2022, construction costs had ballooned to more than $2 billion. Combined with the $1.95 billion China’s Anbang Insurance Group spent to acquire the property in 2015, that means total project costs could exceed $4 billion, making it the most expensive residential conversion project in New York City history.
Dajia US purchased the hotel from Anbang Insurance Group in 2018 and now estimates the new Waldorf Astoria will not debut before 2025.