The Sheraton Long Island Hotel in Hauppauge, one of the oldest and largest local hotels for business clients, has been sold and will convert immediately to the UPSKY Long Island Hotel, an independent brand.
Chinese company SouFun Holdings Ltd. bought the 209- room property from former owner Northridge Capital, a Washington, D.C., real estate investment firm, after a four-month sale process, said the hotel's general manager, Jeff Durham. Northridge had owned the hotel since 2003.
Terms of the deal, which closed Thursday, were not disclosed.
Durham said the hotel's 120 employees are all expected to remain, and SouFun Holdings' plans for the new UPSKY hotel include renovations throughout the building and a new branding strategy.
The new owners also discussed potential development plans for an empty lot -- currently used for parking -- on the east side of the hotel, Durham said.
"I'm very excited," he said. "And I think it's going to be nothing but good things for this hotel in the future."
Business hotels have been on the upswing since the recession, said Adam Weissenberg, a hospitality and leisure industry analyst at Deloitte & Touche. "The overall economy in the U.S. continues to recover," he said, "and as a result businesses are doing better and people are traveling more."
All reservations made through Sheraton will still be honored, and UPSKY's website should be live by Monday, Durham said, though he did not know the Web address. The former Sheraton Long Island's website was already offline Friday afternoon.
The Sheraton Long Island opened in 1981 and kicked off the hotel boom on the Island. It is situated near the Hauppauge Industrial Park, a hub of local companies and one of the largest such areas in the nation. The hotel came into the public spotlight after it became the headquarters for the National Transportation Safety Board while it investigated the 1996 TWA Flight 800 crash off Long Island.
SouFun Holdings, which has a business address in the Cayman Islands, has been described in news reports as a provider of online real estate listings in China. Durham said SouFun Holdings also owns properties in upstate New York and California, as well as three upscale hotels in China.