Kukral buys NY’s Palace Hotel

Northwood, the firm headed by Blackstone’s former real estate chief, reportedly has paid $400m for the Manhattan luxury hotel.

Northwood Investors is purchasing the New York Palace Hotel, a luxury hotel in midtown Manhattan, from the Brunei Investment Agency, an entity associated with the royal family of Brunei.

Bloomberg is reporting that the New York-based investment manager, formed by John Kukral, the former head of real estate at The Blackstone Group, is buying the 899-room property. Although the price has not been disclosed, Real Capital Analytics lists the sale as rumored to be $400 million, or roughly $445,000 per room.

“We are investing in the Palace brand and property both to grow the business and to further enhance its stature as a world-renowned luxury hotel,” said Kukral, Northwood’s president and chief executive, in a statement. “This is only the second time the Palace has traded hands in its 30-year history, and we are excited about building on its impressive reputation.”

The NY Palace

A partnership owned by the family of the Sultan of Brunei purchased the 30-year-old hotel, formerly the Helmsley Palace, for $200 million in 1993. The Dorchester Collection, which operates hotels such as the Beverly Hills Hotel in California and the Dorchester in London, has been the manager of the property since then, but sources close to the deal say that Northwood will be assuming management once the sale is completed.

Kukral formed Northwood in 2006 after working at Blackstone from 1994 through 2005. The company's website lists $1.25 billion in assets under management and a portfolio that includes the Radisson Hotel Boston and Alden Houston Hotel.