Joseph Chetrit has made a deal to shell out more than $190 million for the Hotel Carter, a former Times Square flophouse.
The 600-room property at 250 West 43rd Street was named the dirtiest hotel in America by TripAdvisor users in 2006, 2008 and 2009. The dubious distinction did not deter Chetrit, who signed a contract last month to acquire the 1930 hotel, the Wall Street Journal reported. The developer’s plans for the building have yet to be announced.
Originally named the Hotel Dixie, the establishment fell into disrepair in the 1970s, along with the rest of Times Square. TripAdvisor reviews painted a picture of bedbugs, cockroaches and fetid smells. New management took over in April 2013 to find a fine mess, the New York Times reported:
“Fire extinguishers had not been recharged since the 1970s… Exit signs were not illuminated. Elevators in the 24-story building broke down repeatedly and were overdue for maintenance and inspection. Discarded hospital linens were used on guests’ beds. The housekeeping staff, working in street clothes, cleaned rooms every third day. On weekends, there were no doormen. Insurance coverage was insufficient, Mr. Parness said. Loans had not been repaid.”
The seller is a company controlled by the heirs of Vietnamese businessman Tran Dinh Truong, who owned the place from 1977 until his death in 2012, according to the Wall Street Journal. Tran ran the biggest shipping company in Vietnam before fleeing to the US in 1975, reportedly with suitcases containing cash and gold. Many of Tran’s family members — which included his wife, about 16 children from different mothers and 15 grandchildren — resided at the hotel, and some were employed there. Tran died two years ago without leaving a will, which resulted in squabbling among his heirs over his $200 million fortune.
The deal is expected to be close in the next two months. Broker Eastdil Secured marketed the property.