May 2, 2009

The Famous Roosevelt Hotel In New York City Is Owned By Pakistan

Wow, I did not know this until recently; The famous Roosevelt hotel which is shown in famous hollywood films as The French Connection, Hanky Panky, Quiz Show, Boiler Room, Maid in Manhattan and 1408 is owned by no one else but the Pakistani Government! Shocking indeed but very interesting. It is infact owned by Pakistan International Airlines [PIA], which is owned by the Pakistani Government. Here's a brief history of the Roosevelt hotel with some useful links and facts as well as some pictures of the hotel.

The Roosevelt Hotel was at one time linked with Grand Central Station by way of an underground passage that connected the hotel to the train terminal. Guy Lombardo performed “Auld Lang Syne” for the first time in the hotel’s Roosevelt Grill, and Lawrence Welk began his career at the Roosevelt Hotel. From 1943 to 1955 the Roosevelt Hotel served as the New York City office and residence of Governor Thomas E. Dewey. Dewey's primary residence was his farm in upstate New York, but he used Suite 1527 in the Roosevelt to conduct most of his official business in the city. In the famous 1948 United States presidential election, Dewey, his family, and staff listened to the election returns in Suite 1527 of the Roosevelt; in the election Dewey lost to incumbent President Harry Truman in one of the greatest political upsets in American history. Since 1979, the hotel had been leased by the Pakistan International Airlines through its investment arm PIA Investments Ltd., with an option to purchase the building after 20 years. Prince Faisal bin Khalid Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia was one of the investors in the 1979 deal. In 2005, PIA bought out its partner in a deal that included the prince's share in Hotel Scribe in Paris in exchange for $40 million and PIA's share of the Riyadh Minhal Hotel (a Holiday Inn located on property owned by the prince).

After a major $65 million renovation, in July 2007 PIA announced that it was putting the hotel up for sale for $1 billion. It was reported that the property would be marketed by New York-based real estate company Cushman & Wakefield.
  • There are a total of 1,015 rooms in the hotel, including 52 suites, one of which (the Presidential Suite) has 3,900 square feet (360 m2) with four bedrooms, a kitchen, formal living and dining areas, and a wrap-around terrace.
  • The rooms are traditionally decorated, with mahogany wood furniture and light-colored bed coverings.
  • The "Roosevelt Grill" serves American food and regional specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The "Madison Club Lounge" has a 30-foot (9.1 m) mahogany bar, stained glass windows and a pair of fireplaces. There is also a cafe (Ferraras Cafe).
  • The Roosevelt has 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2) of meeting and exhibit space, including two ballrooms and 17 additional meeting rooms ranging in size from 300 – 1,100 sq ft (100 m2). It offers a business center which provides Internet access, fax services, secretarial services, copy services and shipping services.
  • Other services include a concierge, a 24-hour fitness center, safety deposit boxes, valet laundry, valet or self-parking, and 15 retail tenants, including a Bostonian Shoes.
  • The New York City hotel opened on September 22, 1924. The hotel closed in 1995 and reopened in 1997 after a $65-million extensive renovation.


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