Orient-Express to Build Luxury "21" Hotel in New York

Orient-Express Hotels has signed a deal to acquire a building in midtown Manhattan that houses a branch of the New York Public Library and the land beneath it to create a 150-room luxury hotel. Orient-Express will pay the library $59 million, in addition to the value of the library space. The project is estimated to cost $220 million overall. The hotel will still house the Donnell branch of the library as well as dining, spa and fitness facilities. The luxury operator of hotels, cruises and trains said it also plans to expand its "21" Club restaurant, which backs onto the library site, by connecting the two buildings. The property will be marketed under a new "21" Hotel brand name. Construction is slated to begin in 2009, with an early 2011 opening targeted. (DE)

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