Orient-Express Hotels Backs Out of Donnell Library Deal

Bad news for the NYPL due to the credit crunch.

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. has told the New York Public Library that it is unable to complete the purchase of the Donnell branch in Midtown for $59 million, the library said Monday. “We are now evaluating various alternatives to ensure that Orient Express honors its commitment to the library,” said Herb Scher, a library spokesman. Under the original agreement, announced in November 2007, the five-story building on West 53rd Street was to be replaced by an 11-story hotel. The library would own and occupy space on the first floor and underground. NYTimes blog and story.