• The San Juan Daily Star

Hard Rock Internat’l: Reports of Normandie deal are ‘patently false’

The Normandie Hotel in San Juan

By The Star Staff

Hard Rock International officials late last week denied reports that they are going to buy the shuttered Normandie Hotel.

“While Hard Rock welcomes the opportunity to expand its worldwide portfolio and build a hotel in Puerto Rico, reports of a deal with the Normandie Hotel owner/developer in Puerto Rico are patently false,” Stephanie Croteau, an official with the public relations firm representing Hard Rock, said Thursday.

Over the past few weeks, there had been reports that Hard Rock International was interested in buying the hotel and that they were fine tuning permits.

The Normandie opened its doors in 1942 and has been abandoned for over a decade. Inspired by the French ship SS Normandie, the hotel was distinctive for its art deco style and the ocean liner that inspired it, with many locals referring to it as the building that looks like a boat.

Earlier this year, the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture (ICP by its Spanish initials) came out against a legislative proposal to demolish the structure, noting that it is included in the National Register of Historic Places.

“For this privately owned building a preliminary proposal for its rehabilitation has been developed for more than a year,” the ICP said back in March. “This initiative received the conceptual endorsement of the ICP and the approval of the State Office for Historic Preservation, which has already referred it to the corresponding federal authorities in Washington.”

Rep. Ángel Matos García had filed Joint House Resolution 0089 to order the island Economic Development and Commerce Department to expropriate the structure and promote its demolition.

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