Pakistan has leased its iconic Roosevelt Hotel in New York to the New York City administration for three years, the cash-strapped government has announced, in a deal that will enable the country to earn up to $220 million (£177m).
The Roosevelt Hotel, named after former US president Theodore Roosevelt, has been a prominent landmark in Manhattan, New York since 1924.
The state-run Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) leased this prime property in 1979 and eventually purchased it two decades later.
Under the contract, the New York City administration will operate for three years, providing residential facilities to migrants.
“The lease agreement is expected to generate revenues to the tune of around USD 220 million for the Pakistan government,” minister of railways and aviation, Khawaja Saad Rafique, announced during a press conference in Lahore on Monday (5).
“A contract was signed for 1,250 rooms. The hotel will be returned to the government of Pakistan once the three-year term lease expires,” he was quoted as saying by Geo TV.
The hotel was shut during the pandemic in 2020, but reopened earlier this year to house migrants. The minister said the annual expenditures of the hotel were $25m, with existing liabilities amounting to $20m.
The leasing of the historic Roosevelt Hotel is a part of the Pakistan government’s larger plans of resuscitating the country’s febrile economy.