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Thread: 50 East 57th Street @ 432 Park Avenue (former Drake Hotel site)

  1. #1

    Default 50 East 57th Street @ 432 Park Avenue (former Drake Hotel site)

    Could not find a thread on this so let's start it, as it's looking to be very large. Here is the original article from last year:

    2 MORE TOP INNS GOING RESIDENTIAL


    By BRADEN KEIL
    January 17, 2006

    The Mark and Swissotel's The Drake are the latest in a string of New York hotels going residential.

    The notable inns will close to make room for apartments — following on the heels of The Plaza, St. Regis, Mayflower and Stanhope.

    The owners of The Drake Swissotel, New York, at 440 Park Ave. at 56th Street, are accepting bids on the property for condos.

    Offers are now running in the mid-$400 million range, The Post has learned.

    "The Drake will be demolished for a condo or mixed-use building of close to 70 floors," said a source familiar with the proceedings.

    "It's a big site, and they've bought a bunch of development [air] rights on 57th Street."

    Eastdil Realty is handling the offering for the Host Marriott, the owner of the hotel's building.

    Recently, the Mandarin Oriental International Ltd. agreed to sell its full leasehold at The Mark hotel, on East 77th Street between Madison and Fifth avenues, for $150 million for cooperative apartments.

    The 176-room facility is bringing in about $850,000 a room. "That's just too good a price to pass up," said one broker.

    The buyers are a group controlled by New York developers Izak Senbahar and Simon Elias. The Mark was bought by the Mandarin Group in 2000 as part of a $142.5 million acquisition.


    Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.



    And an article from cityrealty:

    Drake Hotel on Park Avenue to be converted or redeveloped


    20-JAN-06

    Eastdil Realty has been retained by Host Marriott to sell the handsome, Swissôtel Drake Hotel at 440 Park Avenue.

    The 495-room hotel was built in 1927 and designed by Emery Roth.

    Various press reports indicated it may be sold for conversion to condominium apartments and one report by Brandon Keil in the January 17, 2006 edition of The New York Post, quoted a “source familiar with the proceedings” as stating that “The Drake will be demolished for a condo or mixed-use building of close to 70 floors.”

    A mid-block addition to the hotel, which is on the northwest corner at 56th Street was erected in the 1960s.

    It shares the Park Avenue blockfront with the handsome black office tower with arched windows at 450 Park Avenue. A spokesman at the hotel had “no comment” when asked about the reports and calls by CityRealty.com about the sale to executives at Eastdil Realty were not returned.

    Mr. Keil’s article said that the sale also involves air rights from some properties on 57th Street between Madison and Park Avenues.

    If the site were to be demolished, it is conceivable that a new tower utilizing air rights might become the tallest building on Park Avenue north of the MetLife Building at 45th Street.

    Another very tall mixed-use tower has been designed by Sir Norman Foster for Aby Rosen nearby at 610 Lexington Avenue on the southwest corner at 53rd Street behind the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue.

    The Drake has a polished red-granite one-story base beneath two limestone stories. Fauchon is the retail tenant on Park Avenue. The 21-story, beige-brick building and three setbacks and handsome three-story columns supporting large broken pediments on its avenue frontage at the top of its base and attractive façade decorations at its top. It has a large entrance marquee on the side street with sidewalk landscaping and a large lobby. In the early 1960’s, a nightclub and discotheque at the hotel, known as Shepheard’s, handsomely outfitted with Egyptian-style décor, became the city’s first major public disco.

    In their brilliant book, “New York 1930, Architecture and Urbanism Between The Two World Wars,” (Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 1987), Robert A. M. Stern, Gregory Martin and Thomas Mellins noted that “the apartment hotels of the 1920s fell into three notable categories: those that really did mix transient and resident tenants, and which were usually quite luxurious; those comparable in character to the era’s typical side street apartment houses that catered to a sophisticated and more or less permanent tenantry, usually single people and childless couples, many of whom were actively pursuing business careers; and those aimed at the many young, unmarried white–collar workers who were moving into the city to pursue business and professional careers, and which offered minimal quality of accommodation. In the first category, the Park Lane, the Barclay, and the Drake on Park Avenue and the Dorset and the Lombardy in the west and east fifties were among the most elegant….Emery Roth made a specialty of apartment hotels. The 1927 Drake at 440 Park Avenue…was in the superluxury category, with suites as large as twenty-eight rooms, large enough to constitute what Good Furniture described as ‘a whole self-contained city house.’”

    The hotel is not an official city landmark.

    Recently hotels in prime locations have begun to be converted, in whole or in part, to condominium apartments. The Stanhope on Fifth Avenue and 81st Street and the Mark on East 77th Street and Madison Avenue, for example, are being fully converted, while the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue at Central Park South and the St. Regis Hotel at 2 West 55th Street are being partially converted.


    Copyright © 1994-2006 CITY REALTY

  2. #2

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    The latest:

    Macklowes Mull East 57th Street Monster Tower

    Harry and Billy Macklowe are so busy. Two months ago, they more than doubled their New York portfolio with a $7 billion buy from Blackstone. And now here comes their next prize.

    We already know that the Macklowes are planning something at the corner of Park Avenue and 56th Street, where they own the soon-to-be-demolished Drake Hotel. But now it appears that the big development site is expanding even more.

    According to city records, the Macklowes have purchased 44 and 50 East 57th Street for $41 million and have issued a declaration of development rights for 42, 44, 48 and 50 East 57th Street—all tiny buildings that border the Drake. In the declarations, those properties are bundled with 434 Park Avenue—the Drake’s address—to make up an L.L.C. named 440 Park Avenue Owner Associates.

    That means the Macklowes’ prospective monster at the corner of Park Avenue and 56th will curve like an L and expand all the way to 57th Street. So, in addition to being pretty tall—it will reportedly be 70 stories—the new development’s going to have a huge base. (Conspicuously absent from the declaration of development rights is 46 East 57th Street; one wonders if the Macklowes are having a tough time nabbing that building. They would not comment.)

    In any event, Harry and Billy Macklowe are quickly securing cash. According to a document obtained by The Observer, the Macklowes have signed an air-rights mortgage-spreader agreement with Deutsche Bank for the 440 Park Avenue project for $543 million.

    So they’ve got the money, but what are they going to build there?

    It was originally conceived as a mixed-use project that would be mostly residential. The proposed building, known as 50 East 57th Street on the Macklowe Properties Web site, is listed under residential properties and is described as mixed-use.

    But at a time when every developer is trading in kitchens for cubicles, the Macklowes are still mulling it over. Billy Macklowe, the heir-apparent to his father’s robust throne, told a group of reporters in February that no decision had been made.

    Nevertheless, they’ve got plenty of reason to think office. Their new tower will border 450 Park Avenue, the 32-story tower that owner Taconic Properties is selling for a record-breaking asking price of $1,500 per square foot. And the prospective 440 Park (a.k.a. 50 East 57th) will have one of its three entrances on 56th Street, directly across from the Park Avenue Tower, one of the eight buildings that the Macklowes acquired from Blackstone.

    http://www.observer.com/20070416/200...cialbreaks.asp

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    Macklowe makes me sick. The little buildings on 57th that this creep is buying are little gems. Macklowe has no respect for NY's architecture or its history. He also is buying a block of beautiful, old townhouses on Lex and 73rd that he will raze.

    Moreover, based upon the banal structure he's building at 510 Madison, I guarantee that this will be a lame box of no more than 750 feet, if that. In fact, since it will be lame, this is one instance in which I support a shorter building since it will be less conspicuous on the skyline.

    http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/c...5.Y8DZL15W.jpg



    Macklowe atrocity rising at 510 Madison:
    Last edited by londonlawyer; April 10th, 2007 at 10:36 PM.

  4. #4

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    PS: Since the jerk Macklowe has a large, square site between 56th and 57th streets, there's no reason for him to raze the original part of the Drake. He could incorporate it into the new structure. Of course, he won't do that because he's a jerk.

    I still can't get over that this creep is razing nice, old buildings on 57th in addition to the Drake for this inevitably lame project.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    Macklowe makes me sick. The little buildings on 57th that this creep is buying are little gems. Macklowe has no respect for NY's architecture or its history. He also is buying a block of beautiful, old townhouses on Lex and 73rd that he will raze.

    Moreover, based upon the banal structure he's building at 510 Madison, I guarantee that this will be a lame box of no more than 750 feet, if that. In fact, since it will be lame, this is one instance in which I support a shorter building since it will be less conspicuous on the skyline.

    http://www.propertyshark.com/mason/c...5.Y8DZL15W.jpg



    Macklowe atrocity rising at 510 Madison:
    I agree with some of what you saying but what on that site was really worth keeping up?

  6. #6

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    The building on 53rd and Madison once was nice but was stripped of almost all of its ornamentation. Therefore, it was no loss. However, all of the buildings on 53rd were nice.

    Also, can you think of one reason, other than greed, why Macklowe would construct such a cheap, lame box on such utterly prime land? Even if he wanted a box to maximize his space, he could have hired R AM Stern to construct an ornamented brick and granite box like the one that's rising on 86th and 3rd.

    With guys like Chang and Macklowe tearing down gems and replacing them with junk, this is a very dark time for NY's architecture.
    Last edited by londonlawyer; April 11th, 2007 at 11:31 AM.

  7. #7
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    This is my neighborhood and I am very upset to hear that we will lose this beautiful row of structures in addition to the Drake. It was like salt rubbed into the wound. Can they not build the tower behind and above these buildings, set back from these facades? They add so much charm and scale to the area.
    During the holiday season, the windows are all dressed with wreaths and lights and they create a magical streetscape.






    ^Evidently, #40 above is not included according to the article. Small relief because it isn't a solo player; the beauty really is in the whole group.

    And here's the Drake today, waiting for it's date with oblivion...

  8. #8

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    Are there any pictures of the Drake?

  9. #9

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    Oh my God. That's pathetic. That's Holly Golightly New York. Chic little boutique buildings. Paris with some New York grit.

    I'm sick.

    MidtownGuy: let's get drunk.

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    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Seeing those pics filled me with so much anguish.

    And the part that makes it doubly infuriating is that it's just so unncecessary to raze these while there are still plenty of sites in Midtown that could use redevelopment but aren't.

    For example, eyesore sites like this (45 St. & Lexington Ave.) is still advertising lease space on RKF:


  11. #11
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    I guess tipping one back is the only thing to do in a time like this.
    I feel hopeless sometimes, like people who care only about square feet and
    $$$ will leave the next generation looking at old pictures of the 00's and wondering, WTF were they thinking? And cursing our selfishness.

    Here is the Drake before it was covered:




  12. #12
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    Seeing those pics filled me with so much anguish.
    I know...I had a lump in my throat while I was taking them. Felt like I was documenting the site of a known future crime.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    Seeing those pics filled me with so much anguish.

    And the part that makes it doubly infuriating is that it's just so unncecessary to raze these while there are still plenty of sites in Midtown that could use redevelopment but aren't.

    For example, eyesore sites like this (45 St. & Lexington Ave.) is still advertising lease space on RKF:

    I agree with you. That's what I've been saying. This massacre is due to Macklowe's avarice.

  14. #14

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    Look at this image below. Will everyone please take a pause and soak this in. Look at how everything is right with the world.

    Notice the iron work, the human touch in the tiny shrubs, windows that open with real panes and wooden frames. The fine taste of the little metal signs with gold lettering on the Juliet balconies. Notice how the modern facade totally works on the Parisian style building. The flags. The iron canopy on the left. The hanging coach lamps. The brass frames, the varnished wood frames. The initials in the windows.

    There are layers of styles, the different materials (all good) and the patina of time.

    You know at a glance this is NYC, somewhere on the East Side... almost a movie set recreation for a goofy RenéeZellweger-bags-JudeLaw kinda film.

    Now replace it all with a sheet of reflective glass.


    Last edited by Fabrizio; April 11th, 2007 at 07:02 PM.

  15. #15

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    Thanks for the photos MidtownGuy. It would be a travesty if all those little buildings were razed. They are landmark worthy....and would be landmarked already if they were in the UES or UWS. Not all of midtown needs to be skyscrapers, there's no reason those buildings can't be preserved by simply transfering the air rights.

    Like antinimby has shown us, and londonlawyer constantly points out, there are still many run-down buildings in the heart of midtown that will eventually succomb to development. These buildings, however, are as classy as it gets, and are essentially quintessential New York City.

    Let's try to do something about this. With your permission, MidtownGuy, I will use your photographs in an email to the Landmarks Commission. We should all send emails.....it might not work, but at least we can say we tried.

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