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Puerto Rico’s Normandie Hotel may finally have buyer

The Normandie was put on the auction block in March with a starting bid of $1.8 million. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The Normandie was put on the auction block in March with a starting bid of $1.8 million. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

The long shuttered Normandie Hotel, a national historic site and one of San Juan’s iconic buildings, may finally have a buyer.

Hector Aponte, business director of NAI Puerto Rico, one of two real estate firms handling the sale of the property, said that a stateside company has signed an option to purchase the hotel from its owner, New York-based Capmark Finance Inc.

The company, whose name was not identified, has 30 days to make good on the option, which, according to Aponte, was signed about two weeks ago. He said the closing would depend on the due-diligence process and the buyer’s success in securing financing for the transaction.

Once bought, the property will require extensive rebuilding due to its grave state of disrepair.  It is unclear how big an investment will be required to bring the building back to its previous luster but Aponte said reconstruction would probably take a year.

The Normandie was put on the auction block in March with a starting bid of $1.8 million. Aponte said that some 18 companies vied for the property, with the field of potential buyers subsequently narrowed down to three companies. In selecting the winning bid, Capmark balanced other considerations in addition to the price offered, he said. Among these were the prospective buyer’s plans for the hotel property.

While he would not say how much the buyer offered to pay for the hotel, Aponte acknowledged that the amount is lower than what the property was expected to fetch. Earlier this year, media reports said the property might sell for $9 million.

Based in Puerta de Tierra, next door to the Caribe Hilton Hotel, the 173-room Normandie Hotel was built by Puerto Rican engineer Félix Benítez Rexach as a tribute to love. Architect Raul Reichard modeled its design on the SS Normandie, the liner on which Benítez Reach met his French wife. The hotel opened in 1942 and during its early days catered to Hollywood and Latin American film stars.

Despite its glamorous beginning, the hotel’s history has been a troubled one, peppered all along the way with shutterings and reopenings that climaxed in 2009 when its last operators, Caribbean Property Group, jumped ship after incurring heavy losses.

Since closing, the government has vainly sought to find a buyer for the property. More recently, the House Tourism Industry Development Committee passed a resolution to investigate the reasons why the property remains closed.

In March, two days before the hotel went on the auction block, committee Chairman Rep. Ángel Matos Garcia led a run-through of the property so that interested would-be investors could see for themselves the sorry state of the once glorious hotel.

In the event the selected buyer fails to meet the 30-day deadline, NAI’s Aponte said the property would once again be put up for sale. And given that three previous efforts to sell the hotel failed, he conceded that there is no guaranty this fourth attempt will succeed.



  1. bluepup June 27, 2013

    Quote: “…the House Tourism Industry Development
    Committee passed a resolution to investigate the reasons
    why the property remains closed.”

    This is an easy one. The reason this happens is because
    there is no communication between agencies to WANT
    to have Puerto Rico BE successful without any political
    strings attached.

  2. Home Buyer San Antonio November 20, 2013

    With a population of over 23 million, Texas is the second largest state in the
    nation. The housing market in Texas has remained strong in most cities and
    counties, with Houston being the largest
    and most active in the real estate and housing market, followed by San Antonio
    and Dallas.

  3. Home Buyer San Antonio December 15, 2013

    The challenges within the residential market have a ripple
    result on alternative markets, significantly on the retail market. thanks to
    this, changes should be created to the troubled domicile market of city in
    order that growth in city will stay sturdy and therefore the economy will stay

  4. Home Buyer San Antonio December 29, 2013

    Considering that banks and alternative economic
    organizations don’t really want to buy residences, they’re going to provide
    them to those who {are interested|have associate interest} and can actually
    provoke an really reduced compensation. This method is known as a fast sale and
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    1. LeoP May 19, 2017

      What the hell does the housing market in Texas has to do with Hotel in Puerto Rico “Home buyer San Antonio”? Drugs much?

  5. RauL Melcio Soto January 4, 2019

    I’m interesting in Own this Hotel Please sent em if is available and the condiction in the present for this Hotel same as I’m interesting in up date this Hotel for Puerto Rico Pais Government .

    1. Nestor June 23, 2020

      Are you still interested in purchasing this Hotel?

      Lets talk.


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