As one well-known NYC landmark becomes the target of protests, another is getting turned into condos. Anbang, the Chinese investment group that purchased the Waldorf Astoria in 2014, has officially filed plans to convert most of the iconic hotel into residential spaces. The billion-dollar effort will turn over 31 floors of 500 guest rooms into "exclusive" apartment units. The remaining 300–500 units will remain hotel rooms, though they'll likely get some souped-up features. The base of the Waldorf will feature a fitness room, shopping center and restaurants.
Many fear that the beloved hotel—which opened in 1939 and has served as a seminal attraction for dignitaries, presidents and celebrities in the city—will lose its character in the process. The Landmarks Preservation Commission will soon hold a hearing to determine whether some of the building's banquet halls—as seen in movies like The Scent of a Woman—should be designated as historical landmarks.
While Anbang is amenable to preserving certain parts of the hotel, it will be interesting to see how it all fits together when the Waldorf relaunches in 2020. By then, we hopefully won't have to protest Trump Tower any more either.