By Craig Carmin, Wall Street Journal
Marriott International Inc. has agreed to buy Manhattan's famous Clock Tower building, raising the prospect that the company will use the historic property to revive a struggling new hotel brand.
The lodging giant signed a contract earlier this month to pay $165 million to Africa Israel USA for the property, according to people familiar with the matter.
Marriott is likely targeting the site for its stylish Edition Hotel line, hoping to build fresh momentum for Edition after the brand stumbled coming out of the gate, some people in the hotel industry say.
The Bethesda, Md., company announced Edition in 2007 with hotelier Ian Schrager as a partner. It predicted then it would open 100 Edition hotels over 10 years. So far, there is one in Istanbul and one in Honolulu.