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New York - Major Manhattan Hotel To Close Down After 82 Years

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The Helmsley Middletowne Hotel, one of four Manhattan hotels in the late Leona Helmsley's estate, plans to close its doors in May, according to a filing with the New York State Department of Labor.

The 192-room hotel's lease will expire after 82 years of hospitality services at 148 East 48th St., between Second and Park avenues. It's the first major hotel closure since 2005, according to John Fox of PKF Consulting, who noted that hotel occupancy rates have been climbing since the middle of 2009.

This closure will not affect any of the other Helmsley-brand hotels, including the New York Helmsley, which has 776 rooms, and Park Lane, with 587 rooms, according to Helmsley Estates spokesman Howard Rubenstein.

The Helmsley Middletowne shuttering will affect 79 employees, including 25 who are members of the New York Hotel & Motel Trades Council. The employees in the union are covered by the industry-wide agreement, which states that employees who lose their jobs because of hotel closures must be given preference for jobs in union hotels, said John Turchiano, a spokesman for the council.

Sources speculated that this closure is tied to the winding down of Ms. Helmsley's estates.

Ms. Helmsley, also known as the “Queen of Mean,” was married to real estate mogul Harry Helmsley. When he died in 1997, he left her with his entire fortune, which included the Empire State Building and a number of hotels. Ms. Helmsley died in 2007, leaving $4 billion of her estate to the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

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