Historic Cincinnati Hotel Used as Model for Empire State Building Scores $70M Refi

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Meridian Capital Group has arranged $70 million in financing to refinance the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza Hotel in Cincinnati, Ohio, a 561-key French Art Deco hotel that was used as a model for the design of the Empire State Building.

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J.P. Morgan Chase provided the 12-month loan, sources told CO. Officials at Meridian declined to confirm or comment on the lender’s identity and a representative for J.P. Morgan declined to comment.

Located at 35 West Fifth Street in Cincinnati’s Central Business District, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza includes 41,000 square feet of meeting space and five onsite food and beverage facilities. It also is home to the Hall of Mirrors, a famed ballroom modeled after the Palace of Versailles just outside of Paris.

The hotel was built in 1931 and gained instant recognition as an Art Deco masterpiece. Several public figures checked in through its doors during the 20th century, including Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt and Elvis. The property achieved landmark status in 1985.

Meridian’s Drew Anderman and Joshua Berman negotiated the debt on behalf of the property’s owner, Gregory Power of Cincinnati Netherland Hotel LLC.

“To modernize this unique asset, Mr. Power needed to pay off existing debt, provide funds to complete an ongoing property improvement plan, and allow the property’s cash flows to stabilize,” Anderman said in prepared remarks. “Meridian identified a lender who recognized the value in this truly iconic hotel and closed a high-leverage, short-term loan that allowed the sponsor to execute his business plan and position the asset for future fixed-rate financing.”