Taiwanese delicacy ^ from the kitchen of Mama Chang
Taiwanese delicacy ^ from the kitchen of Mama Chang
I wouldn't mind them if they followed the street line. No worse than anything else that is going up. But I don't care for the set backs at all.
Updated On 11/07/08 at 12:43PM
Q A with Gene Kaufman
Architect Gene Kaufman has designed more than two dozen hotels for prolific New York City developer Sam Chang and is now thinking smaller in response to a cooling economy.
According to a report released last month by commercial brokerage and research firm CB Richard Ellis, 30 percent fewer hotel rooms will be built in the city by 2010 than planned.
Kaufman's 35-person, Soho-based firm has designed 25 hotels for Chang's McSam Hotel Group including three West Side hotels in a single building on 39th Street, and 15 others for clients such as Magna Hospitality Group, Gemini Real Estate Advisors and the Lam Group. He also designs residential and commercial buildings.
The Real Deal sat down with Kaufman in his office to discuss designing budget hotels and hotels with increasingly smaller rooms.
As an architect, how have you reacted to the downturn in the economy and the credit crunch on Wall Street?
We've had to adjust our focus to projects which might be on a more modest scale, where the level of risk for the investor and the total size and financial cost for undertaking the project might be less.
Are you designing more budget hotels charging less than $200 per night?
I think this is a new thing which is just starting to happen. If you look at Europe and Asia, there has been, for a number of years now, the budget hotel which is really thought of as a business person's hotel. The room is very, very small and maybe has an upscale kind of image but the amount of space is extremely modest and the price is as well.
What is different about these budget hotels than what you have designed in the past?
The quote unquote budget hotel is a somewhat different type than what we have been working on. It is not necessarily a mainstream branded hotel. I think some of the people who are interested in doing these are coming from Europe and from Asia. And when they are local they are often thinking of it as an independent hotel.
Approximately how many projects like that are you working on now?
We are just starting with a couple, but I see a lot of opportunity in that area. I would say less than five. [Kaufman did not give addresses for the new projects, saying they were still being negotiated with developers.]
What are the smallest hotel dimensions you are looking at in designing a hotel?
In some of these budget hotels the room size can be even as small as 8-feet by 10-feet. That would be about the smallest. From here you are going to see a continuation of this trend which has gone from miniaturization at the high end through the middle market.
Are you designing smaller hotel rooms than you were six months ago?
In some cases yes. I think what you are finding is that where we might have done a slightly bigger room and a slightly higher price point for a hotel we are now thinking that we might be at a slightly lower price point and a slightly smaller room.
With the downturn in the economy, why are some developers even willing to take the risk of building budget hotels?
I don't think you had in the last few years true budget hotels being introduced in New York City. The hotels we opened and designed have been mid-market hotels. I think one thing that is significant here is that despite the current financial situation the average price of a hotel room has gone up over the past few years.
Interview by Adam Pincus
Adam Pincus you moron. Why the hell did you ask Kaufman those garbage questions? What a worthless interview.
I would have asked him these more pertinent questions...
WTF are you thinking by designing these hotels that look like sh*t?!!
Are you blind?
Do you not see?
Do actually think they look good?
I know Sam Chang wants cheap designs, but for christ's sake, cheap doesn't mean they have to be offensive to the eyes.
I mean, WTF is wrong with you Gene you no-talent douchebag!!!!?
The white 2-story building in the middle is 126 Water St, looks like there used to be a chinese restuarant, Yip's, on the ground floor. Next door, the Old Blarney Pub has become a Kosher Subway, and the Blankee deli is still there and it received an enthusiastic review on Yellowbot "The Blankee rocks....this is the best restaurant in NYC, when its open....there are not usually many customers in the Blankee, which must be due to their extensive takeout menu!"
Last edited by asg; November 12th, 2008 at 03:42 PM.
Updated On 11/12/08 at 11:44AM
Chang sells Chelsea hotel for $39M
By Adam Pincus
Hotel developer Sam Chang of the McSam Hotel Group and a partner sold their newly opened Wyndham Garden Hotel Manhattan Chelsea West, for $39.06 million, according to property records published today. The buyer was Gemini Real Estate Advisors, a real estate firm based in Manhattan.
The 17-story hotel with 124 rooms opened last week at 37 West 24th Street, a hotel employee said.
The transfer was planned to occur once the hotel opened, McSam Hotel Group COO Gary Wisinski said in an email.
The sale went into contract May 2006, and was finalized November 4, the property records indicate.
Gemini owns several hotels in New York City, including a Howard Johnson at 135 East Houston Street at Forsyth Street and the Comfort Inn Midtown West at 442 West 36th Street between Ninth and Tenth avenues.
^^ I wonder if any ex-army officers in Pakistan help plan Chang's attacks on the city...
Re: 40-70 Delong ...
DOB shows no New Building Application for the address.
Odd though, there is one Alt 2 Permit dated 9.24.08 for the existing building on that site for minor interior alteration / new storefront / new plumbing; the Application lists Sam Chang as Owner.
Such renovations would imply that nothing new is going up here anytime soon (but Chang can be tricky and clever with his applications and building process).
That one ^ at 309 W 39 was originally filed as a 17-story New Building. DOB shows that they've now combined this lot with one it backs up to on West 40th: 308 W. 40 -- which has a Dis-Approved Application for a 15-story building:
Also: It looks like Chang sold this site in October '08.FILED HEREWITH ARE REVISED ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS AND SCHEDULE'A' TO SHOW CORRECT NUMBER OF FLOORS, ALSO FILED TO MERGE ZONING LOTS WITH 308 WEST 40T STREET AND REVISED MEETS AND BOUNDS. NEW FLOORS 1ST. THRU 39TH AND ROOF
DOB shows Change of Owner:
But Kaufman continues as the ArchitectFILED HEREWITH ARE REVISED DOCUMENTS TO SHOW NEW OWNERSHIP OF PROPERTY FROM SA M CHANGD TO ROBERT INDEGLIA ...
That whole block should be renamed Kaufman's Vomitorium!
Still can't believe this piece of fecal matter will be 39 stories. There ought to be a law against this.
The poor, handsome little maroon-colored ^ walkup sandwiched in from both sides with excrement.
Next to an earlier piece of fecal from the Poon-tang...
Actually this is no longer a McSam. It's still being designed by Gene Kaufman though, so it doesn't matter much.
Excerpt from The Real Deal:
Hotel developer Sam Chang sold a Times Square area parcel in the early stages of construction for $59 million, far above the $13.48 million the developer paid for the site in 2006.
The Rhode Island hotel development company Magna Hospitality Group bought the 74,000-square-foot site at 309 West 39th Street from the McSam Hotel Group on July 2, according to city records published today. It was at least the fifth hotel site Chang has sold to Magna since February.
The price difference was not all profit, however. Chang added value to the property through a zoning lot merger, a payment to the city for a bonus in development rights and approved plans for a 39-story hotel, city records show.
In June, 2007, Chang merged the 39th Street's zoning lot with that of a neighboring parcel at 308 West 40th Street that was owned by a partnership partially controlled by McSam, which gave Chang an unspecified increase in development rights.