After $65M Makeover, New York Helmsley to Fly Westin Flag

Leona Helmsley may be gone but her hotel—at least the one with her name on it—is about to receive some needed capital and a new brand. The New York Helmsley, located near the United Nations on 42nd Street, was bought by Host Hotels & Resorts for $313 million last year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Now, the Sun Herald reports it will receive a $65-million makeover and redebut this year flying the Westin flag. Our sister site Hotel Management spoke to a representative for Starwood, who said the eventual name for the hotel is still being discussed, but that no definitive name has been reached yet. However, the official Starwood release displays a mock-up of the hotel post renovation with the Westin Hotels & Resorts logo prominently displayed at the entrance.

The multi-million renovation includes a complete redesign of the hotel's 774 guestrooms, which will feature the Westin Eco-Friendly Classic Room Design (think eco-friendly materials such as energy-conserving LED and CFL lights, water-conserving low-flow plumbing and recyclable carpet pads, low-VOC finishes for casegoods and GreenGuard-certified solar shades). The building's entrance, which features theater bulbs, also will be overhauled and modernized.

Food and beverage will also be a priority. The lobby bar/restaurant will be extended to 42nd Street and the entire façade of the building will be completely transformed. "It will be much more open air. Much more light will get in," Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin Hotels & Resorts, told The Wall Street Journal.

More than 15,000 square feet of meeting space will also be renovated. The estimated six-month renovation is expected to take place from January 2012 to June 2012, and rooms will remain open to accommodate guests during the conversion.

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