Record Deal for Waldorf Astoria Completed

Chicago hotelier Laurence Geller has completed the record-shattering purchase of the Waldorf-Astoria hotel from former Cubs owner Sam Zell. Zell previously held the record, when the property was known as the Elysian.


In 2011 Zell bought the hotel for $95 million – $505,000 per room. Geller topped that at $111.9 million, or just over $592,000 per room. Geller investment partnered with Wanxiang America Real Estate Group, an Elgin-based unit of Chinese auto parts giant Wanxiang Group.

It is a terrific time to be in the luxury hotel business, especially in Chicago, due to its growth in tourism,” Geller said in a statement. “This hotel’s world-class location, physical attributes and current market position provide a wonderful platform from which to grow.”

Geller has announced plans to convert some of the larger suites into multiple rooms, expanding the number of available rooms.