Nelkin family selling Garden City Hotel

The selling price of the 280-room, nine-floor hotel, The selling price of the 280-room, nine-floor hotel, located in the heart of one of Long Island's most posh municipalities, was not disclosed. (Dec. 9, 2010) Photo Credit: Jason Andrew

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The Garden City Hotel, one of Long Island's most iconic and opulent landmarks, is being sold by the family that has owned it for more than 30 years to a Manhattan real-estate developer, hotel officials said Wednesday.

The selling price of the 280-room, nine-floor hotel, located in the heart of one of Long Island's most posh municipalities, was not disclosed. The hotel is being sold by the Nelkin family, which acquired it in 1979, to a group led by Morris Moinian of Fortuna Realty Group of Manhattan. Moinian did not return calls seeking comment.

Patrick S. Smalley, the hotel's executive vice president and managing director, said the deal is expected to close within 90 days.

"The Nelkin family and I not long ago concluded that we had achieved all of the goals we set out over the past several years and determined that after three decades the time had to come pass the stewardship of this iconic hotel on to others," Smalley said in a statement.

Cathy Nelkin Miller, president of the hotel and daughter of the late Myron Nelkin, who bought it, will not be staying on after the deal closes, Smalley said.

The hotel employs about 300 people. Smalley, when asked what the sale might mean for the staff, said, "I think it's fair to stay that anyone interested in the hotel would want to continue with the incredible staff that we have."

Steve Rushmore, president of HVS, hotel consultants in Mineola, said the hotel had been on the market for a few years.

"It's a pretty good market to sell a hotel these days," Rushmore said. A number of them, he said, are on the market as owners expect better prices now that the economy shows some signs of improving.

The luxurious hotel towers over Garden City, and is the fourth building to occupy the site and carry the name. The original went up in 1874. It was rebuilt twice by famed architect Stanford White, and it became a haven for the rich and famous during the Roaring '20s. It was renovated again after the Nelkin family bought it.

Charles Lindbergh stayed at the hotel on the night before his historic trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. Guests have included presidents, foreign heads of state, and world-famous entertainers.

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