Posh Regent Wall Street to close its doors

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NEW YORK -- The Regent Wall Street hotel, which made a huge splash in 1999 when it opened in a landmark building that once housed the New York Stock Exchange, will close in January.

The owners of the upscale, 144-room hotel -- where a room will set you back more than $500 a night and a suite costs $1,200 -- said the hotel never recovered from the travel slump that followed 9/11.

The property, at 55 Wall St., provided emergency space to rescue workers after the attacks and hosted events to help revitalize lower Manhattan.

Ultimately, the hotel could not overcome the economic impact of 9/11. Faced with occupancy as low as 10% in the aftermath of the attacks, the hotel cut its rates by up to 50%.

Although rates have rebounded to more than $500 per night and occupancy is at 80%, the hotel will close its doors Jan. 17. Some 200 employees will lose their jobs.

"We are grateful for the opportunities we have had to serve this wonderful community and proud of our outstanding staff and what they have been able to provide to our guests, neighbors and the city itself," said a spokesman for the hotel's owners, a partnership led by the Jones Apparel Group.

It is unclear what will become of the Greek Revival building, which was built in 1842 by architect Isaiah Rogers and was home to the New York Stock Exchange until 1854. The building housed the U.S. Custom House from 1862 to 1907.

One option is to convert the hotel into residences. Another option is to operate the hotel's 12,000-square-foot ballroom independently.

To contact reporter Jorge Sidron, send e-mail to [email protected].

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