Aby Rosen Grabs Ian Schrager's Sloppy Seconds Again

Why on Earth is Aby Rosen buying another hotel?

It was reported this morning in The Journal and confirmed a few hours ago by a press release that Mr. Rosen has just purchased the Paramount Hotel, the second of Ian Schrager’s now infamous boutique hotels. The announcement made no mention of price, but the business rag reports RFR is paying $275 million. Furthermore, it “had an incentive for the acquisition: taking advantage of a tax law by reinvesting proceeds from a recent sale to defer a capital-gains payment, say people familiar with the matter.”

But is there an upside here beyond taxes? From the release:

Under the direction of Aby Rosen, the RFR Hotel Group has enjoyed extraordinary success in repositioning its lodging properties into award-winning destinations for the global traveler. Both the W in Miami’s South Beach and the Roomers Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany won prominent design awards last year.

Conspicuously absent from this list are his two New York hotels. Mr. Schrager split from the Gramercy Park Hotel a few months ago amid acrimony, and it has not been the same since. And last month a judge ruled that the foreclosure on 610 Lexington Avenue, the site behind Mr. Rosen’s beloved Seagram Building, could continue. It was planned to be a 61-story Shangri-La Hotel designed by Norman Foster, so luxurious that each room would cost a half-million dollars.

Will re-treading a dowdy Times Square dowager really revive Mr. Rosen’s hospitality rep?

mchaban [at] observer.com | @mc_nyo Aby Rosen Grabs Ian Schrager's Sloppy Seconds Again