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omni-berkshire-hotel Photo: Omni Hotels & Resorts

Billionaire Rowling’s Manhattan Hotel to Permanently Close

The 399-room property, located in East Midtown and owned by TRT Holdings, will close its doors for good.

(Bloomberg)—The Omni Berkshire Place hotel in midtown Manhattan will permanently close, the Covid-19 pandemic’s latest blow to New York’s lodging business.

Omni Hotels, owned by billionaire Robert Rowling’s TRT Holdings, informed loyalty members of plans to close the property on East 52nd Street, where Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein wrote the musical Oklahoma!

A spokesman for TRT Holdings didn’t immediately respond to an email and phone call seeking comment.

The 399-room property was built in 1926 by the same architecture firm that designed nearby Grand Central Terminal, according to the hotel website. It underwent a $70 million renovation in 1995, the year before TRT Holdings acquired the Omni chain.

The hospitality industry has been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus, and New York’s lodging market is suffering more than most. Occupancy rates plummeted as low as 15% in March, leading owners to shutter hotels and explore options like handing the keys back to lenders or adapting them for new uses.

TRT Holdings intends to hold onto the Berkshire Place property for now, according to a person familiar with the plans who asked not to be named because the matter is private. The Omni, located in the Midtown East rezoning district, may make a good candidate for an office conversion.

--With assistance from Stacie Sherman.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Clark in New York at [email protected].

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Giammona at [email protected]

Rob Urban

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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