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Queens Chronicle

Pan American hotel being sold this month

The Elmhurst building has a buyer in place according to real estate firm

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Posted: Thursday, January 23, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:28 am, Thu Jan 30, 2014.

After decades in business, the Pan American hotel at 79-99 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst is no more.

The hotel’s website says that the business is just “closed for renovations,” but reports say that the building shuttered its doors for good on Jan. 7 in preparation for its impending sale.

Tom Donovan, the managing director in charge of selling the property for real estate firm Massey Knakal, confirms that, while the building has not been officially sold yet, there is a deal with a buyer in place.

“We have a buyer, but it hasn’t officially been sold yet,” Donovan said. “They’re just getting the money together.”

The seven-story, 216-room hotel was put up for sale in late 2011, and over the two-year process, Donovan said that there was a lot of interest in the building.

“It really has been a two-year process. We had over 20 offers on the property,” he said. “There were various different uses proposed as well.”

Donovan could not reveal who the potential buyer is due to confidentiality agreements. However, he did say the buyer will not restore the building as a hotel and by Jan. 30th, the sale will be announced to the public.

“A real estate developer is buying it, but I can’t get into specifics. They are definitely going to change the use of the building though,” he said. “They are going to redevelop the property at some point.”

The former hotel is zoned as C4-2, which allows for commercial development of the 86,500-square-foot building.

According to Massey Knakal’s listing for the property, the hotel includes 7,000 square feet of grade-level retail space and 70,000 square feet of additional development potential.

When called by the Chronicle, the hotel’s answering machine relays a message saying the building has closed its doors to business.

Community Board 4 District Manager Christian Cassagnol did not have any additional information on the hotel’s sale.

“I’ve heard the same as you,” Cassagnol said in an email. “I have no comment regarding this.”

Reports also say that employees were told in September that the hotel would be closing and the former workers have been given job placement assistance by the New York Hotel Trades Council.

The hotel’s website is still operational and contains pages referencing the building’s proximity to JFK and LaGuardia airports as well as Manhattan, Citi Field and the U.S. Tennis Center.

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