Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester to Close in September; To Reopen as Autograph Collection Hotel in 2021

Real Estate In-Depth | June 2020

Ritz Carlton New York, Westchester in Downtown White Plains will close on Sept. 10.

WHITE PLAINS—The luxury Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester hotel in Downtown White Plains is closing its doors in September, but Real Estate In-Depth has learned the property will reopen in early 2021 after a multi-million-dollar renovation.

The ownership, Glacier Capital Partners, reports that the hotel property will reopen under a new brand as one of Marriott International’s luxury Autograph Collection hotels.

The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester hotel at 3 Renaissance Square in Downtown White Plains had filed a WARN Notice with the New York State Department of Labor that it will shut its doors on Sept. 10. A total of 183 hotel employees will be impacted by the closure. The filling prompted media reports that the hotel was shutting its doors for good. The hotel in its filing with the state reported that furloughs began on March 14 and the hotel will cease operating on Sept. 10 “due to termination of its management agreement.” The hotel noted that the closure was due to “unforeseeable business circumstances prompted by COVID-19.”

Late today, Glacier Capital Partners reported the plans for the significant renovation program and the rebranding of the hotel to the luxury Autograph Collection, which has a portfolio of 192 hotels in operation worldwide.

“The announcement of a major reinvestment in this vitally important downtown property is welcome news not only for White Plains, but for Westchester County and the entire region,” said Marsha Gordon, president and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. “Retaining a Five-Star rating as a Marriott International Autograph Collection hotel assures that the venue will continue to attract a wide-range of audiences and both social and business functions. There are numerous benefits to having a prestige property downtown including serving as an economic anchor, as well as creating opportunities for employment and the many businesses who provide goods and services to the hotel.”

When completed, the hotel will feature a redesigned lobby with a new lobby bar, lounge and a gourmet coffee bar, along with a renovation of all 146 rooms. The hotel will also feature a state-of-the-art gym, spa and pool. Glacier Capital Partners adds in its announcement that  the ballroom and private event spaces will be reimagined and expanded to include a new bridal suite and seating capacity for 400 people.

The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester will remain under the management of The Ritz-Carlton, which will continue to provide luxury services and amenities to all of the residents in the 365-unit buildings. In tandem with the renovations at the hotel, the residences are also currently working with designer Lisa Galano to renovate various aspects of the public spaces.

The former Ritz-Carlton hotel featured 146 luxury guest rooms including 38 executive suites, a spa, a rooftop pool, state of the art fitness center, a lounge, 10,000 square feet of meeting, and special event space including a ballroom accommodating up to 500 guests. The hotel also features BLT Steak, located on the ground floor, which is currently temporarily closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Just prior to the pandemic, the hotel announced in February that it was included as one of the “Best Hotels in New York” in the 2020 Best Hotels rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The Ritz-Carlton New York, Westchester ranked number 38 out of all hotels in New York State.

The hotel industry in New York State and nationwide has been hit hard by COVID-19. A report in the Real Deal states that at least 22 New York City hotels have filed notices with the New York Department of Labor this month to announce staff layoffs due to the coronavirus.

As a result of the sharp drop in travel demand from COVID-19, state and local tax revenue from hotel operations will drop by an estimated $16.8 billion in 2020, according to a new report by Oxford Economics released earlier this week by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.

Some of the hardest hit states include California (-$1.9 billion), New York (-$ 1.3 billion), Florida (-$ 1.3 billion), Nevada (-$1.1 billion) and Texas (-$940 million). These tax impacts represent the direct tax revenue decrease from the severe drop in hotel occupancy, including occupancy, sales, and gaming taxes. These figures do not include the potential, significant, knock-on effects on property taxes supported by hotels that total nearly $9 billion.