NEW YORK CITY-The 593-room Paramount Hotel in the heart of Times Square is sold to Lifestar Hotels LLC for $126.5 million. After undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation, it will be rebranded as the Hard Rock Hotel, New York.

The deal was arranged by Sonnenblick-Goldman Co. on behalf of Morgans Hotel Group, formerly known as Ian Schrager Hotels. Morgans has interests in and manages 10 hotels with approximately 3,000 guestrooms.

According to Sonnenblick-Goldman managing director and principal Mark J. Gordon, the sale was “the perfect opportunity for Hard Rock Hotels because it enables them to establish a flagship presence in an ideal location.” Sonnenblick-Goldman’s transaction team for the assignment included Gordon and Mark K. Owens, senior associate.

Lifestar is a joint venture between Hard Rock Cafe International and Sol Meliá SA. It provides hotel owners a unique proposition to access the Hard Rock Hotel brand through long-term management agreements. New York will be the third Hard Rock Hotel to be part of the joint venture since its formation in 2003. The others are the recently opened Chicago hotel and and a San Diego one scheduled to open in 2006. Hard Rock Cafe International has a network of more than 115 signature Hard Rock Cafes in 44 countries.

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