Pakistan’s Privatisation Commission board has approved the hiring of Jones Lang Lasalle Americas Inc (JLL), a Chicago-based real estate management firm, as the financial advisor for the privatization and joint venture development of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York.
The hotel, currently owned by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), has faced financial challenges, prompting the decision for its privatization.
The decision to appoint a financial advisor was made in July 2020, and after an extensive selection process, JLL was chosen to formulate a transaction structure for the Roosevelt Hotel’s privatization. JLL, with a net worth of $7.4 billion, surpasses the total official reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).
Federal Minister for Privatisation, Fawad Hasan Fawad, approved JLL’s appointment, as stated by the Privatisation Commission. The Roosevelt Hotel, located in a prime area of New York, is currently owned by PIA through its subsidiary PIA-Investment Limited, registered in the British Virgin Islands.
When the Hotel ceased operations in December 2020, Pakistan approved leasing it at a nominal rent to the New York City government in May.
The Roosevelt Hotel faces the potential designation as a heritage building by local authorities in New York, and Pakistan’s Foreign Office has appealed to the US ambassador to dissuade New York authorities from taking such action.
The hotel’s fate remains uncertain, and a 2019 Deloitte report suggested redeveloping the site into a mixed-use space.