New owners plan to return Normandie Hotel ‘to its former glory’
By The Star Staff
After three years of negotiations, the Ishay Group has purchased the Normandie Hotel for $8.6 million, Eddie Ishay, one of the buyers, told the STAR.
The transaction was closed last week, and now the new owners plan to “bring it to its former glory.”
The Normandie Hotel is a historic building located on the San Juan islet that opened in 1942 as a hotel. Its design was inspired by the French transatlantic passenger ship SS Normandie in addition to featuring the same art deco design as the ocean liner that inspired it.
It was declared a national historic site in 1980.
Ishay said that through negotiations, which began in 2019, they came up with the $8.6 million price tag. The hotel belonged to Interra-Sky Normandie which had put it up for sale for $9 million in 2016. Interra had paid $39.5 million in 2006. The hotel had shut down in the 2000s because the owners were unable to obtain funding for upgrades.
Ishay said that while the transaction was closed last week, there were delays in part because the former owners failed to keep the facility safe, making it prone to vandalism.
Ishay said his firm has hired Marvel to come up with the design to bring the hotel to its former glory. While it will be a hotel, he did not dismiss the possibility that some areas may be set aside for residences.
He did not provide an estimate of the costs to renovate the hotel, which he acknowledged was in a dire state.
Ishay said the group has already applied for federal Community Development Block Grant funds, other government grants and Act 74 tax credits in an effort to obtain more cash for the hotel’s rehabilitation.