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Thread: Proposed: New Six-star Hotel - 516 Fifth Avenue - by Pelli Clarke Pelli

  1. #1
    In the long run... londonlawyer's Avatar
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    Default Proposed: New Six-star Hotel - 516 Fifth Avenue - by Pelli Clarke Pelli

    From the realdeal.net's July 8, 2008 edition:

    RFR to build new six-star hotel on Fifth


    By Lauren Elkies

    Aby Rosen's RFR Holding is building a luxury hotel on Fifth Avenue, and Cushman & Wakefield Sonnenblick Goldman will arrange financing, said Mark Gordon, a principal and head of Sonnenblick Goldman.

    Sonnenblick Goldman, which merged with Cushman & Wakefield a year ago this month, is looking for equity and operational partners for the hotel, which will also have residential and retail components. The development will be built at the site of two or three low-rise buildings, Gordon said, in the 40s. He declined to identify the exact location.

    The Fifth Avenue hotel, which Gordon said could have as many as 250 rooms, will mark one of the first ground-up hotels on Fifth Avenue in the last couple of decades.

    The hotel will have a "six-star" rating, Gordon said, which denotes the highest level of service.

    "Six stars is the new star for luxury hotels," Gordon said.

    RFR Holding is also working on a hotel-condo at 610 Lexington Avenue and 53rd Street, at the former site of a YWCA.

  2. #2
    In the long run... londonlawyer's Avatar
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    I assume that this is the same site where Rosen planned a boutique office building.

    These are nice buildings, so it would be a shame to see them razed when so much garbage exists on 5th in the 40's.



    It would be nice, at the very least, if Rosen recycles Foster's design for 980 Madison.

    Century Club May Sell Air Rights

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As set forth in the following article in the Dec. 13, 2006, Abraham Rosen will raze a glorious building located at 516 5th Ave. This guy is the epitome of both a schmuck and a philistine.

    "CENTURY CLUB EYES SALE OF AIR RIGHTS ABY ROSEN"

    December 13, 2006 -- THE venerable Century Club at 7 W. 43rd St. is negotiating to sell most of its air rights to Aby Rosen, who intends to build a new tower on Fifth Avenue.

    We've learned that the membership, now led by author Sidney Offit, voted to enter into discussions with Rosen for such a sale, which could eventually include all but about 10 percent of the club's transferable air rights.

    Rosen, club personnel and Offit did not return calls for comment.

    Rosen's RFR Holdings already owns the three townhouse-style buildings at 516, 518 and 520 Fifth Ave. on the northwest corner of 43rd St. The eastern side of the Century Club abuts those properties.

    In fact, in 1979, the then-owners of 518 Fifth Ave. and the Club were locked in a legal battle over 518's protruding staircase. The two sides ultimately settled.

    With a land area of 100 feet-by-100 feet, the Century Club could have well over 100,000 feet of air rights to sell.

    There are no height restrictions on Rosen's plot, which deed records show spans about 85 feet by 125 feet.

    The recently constructed boutique office building diagonally across the avenue at 505 Fifth Ave. is about 90 percent leased, but has commanded healthy asking rents of more than $90 a foot.

    Paul Glickman of Cushman & Wakefield, who represents 505, said, "Another boutique office building in the Grand Central market would be well-received."
    Last edited by londonlawyer; July 9th, 2008 at 04:09 PM.

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    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    If that is indeed the site, I hope that they do not raze 516 as it is a beauty but instead they should build on 518 and 520 only.

    Quoting the Real Deal article, "The development will be built at the site of two or three low-rise buildings, Gordon said, in the 40s," it appears they are still undecided as to which parcels will be redeveloped.

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    In the long run... londonlawyer's Avatar
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    Rosen owns 516 and 518. He's probably looking to buy 520.

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    Landmarks approves air rights transfer to 516 Fifth Avenue




    05-AUG-08

    The Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously recommended today that the City Council approve a transfer of air rights from the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen building at 20 West 44th Street to 516 Fifth Avenue on the northwest corner at 43rd Street.

    The transfer will permit the society to undertake a major restoration and renovation of its landmark facility and create a fund for its ongoing maintenance and it provides RFR Holdings, of which Aby Rosen is a principal, with about 60,000 square feet of development rights for its 678-foot-high, mixed-use project at 516 Fifth Avenue.

    The society's building was designed by Lamb & Rich in 1891 for the Berkeley Preparatory School. Several years later, the society acquired the building and commissioned Ralph Townsend to enlarge it.

    RFR is also purchasing about 53,000 square feet of development rights from the Princeton Club at 15 East 43rd Street, and about 81,000 square feet of development rights from the Century Association, a landmark cultural club building designed in 1891 by McKim Mead & White, at 3 East 43rd Street.

    The transfers from these three sites will enable RFR to erect a building with some retail space, 241 hotel rooms and a score or so residential condominiums on the top 11 floors of the 55-story tower. Pelli Clarke Pelli, which designed One Beacon Court, the Museum of Modern Art Tower and the Wintergarden at the World Financial Center at Battery Park City, and the Sea Hawk Hotel and Resort in Fukuoka, Japan, is the architect of the proposed tower.

    The new tower is setback on a clear-glass-clad base that is designed to complement the famous, landmark bank building on the southwest corner at 43rd Street that was designed in 1954 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and is one of the hallmarks of mid-20th Century modern architecture in the city.

    According to Michael Sillerman, the attorney representing the developers before the commission, the proposed tower needs some public approvals relating to setbacks and bulk. The rendering shown at today's hearing indicated that the rectilinear, setback tower will be clad in reflective glass.

    Robert Tierney, the commission's chair, noted that the "74-711" application to permit the air rights transfer in exchange for a significant restoration and preservation plan for the landmark building was "totally more than adequate," adding that the commission was not discussing the "interesting and provocative" proposed new tower.

    A statement read by the Municipal Art Society of New York, however, maintained that the new project's glass tower clashed with the dominant stone aesthetic of Fifth Avenue in midtown. "It has been the long-standing policy of MAS to encourage the continuation of the expression of stone along Fifth Avenue," it maintained, adding that "glass and steel buildings change the nature of the internationally-renowned avenue." The statement also noting that "the Manufacturers Hanover Trust building, an individual landmark, is obviously an exception" and "is revered precisely because it stands out about the Fifth Avenue buildings." The society therefore asked the architects to explore ways to incorporate stone into the new building's design to keep the context of Fifth Avenue intact."

    Fifth Avenue, of course, has had previous glass "incursions" such as Olympic and Trump Towers and 717 Fifth Avenue whose Steuben Glass fountain and plaza were destroyed in an expansion some years ago.

    Andrea Goldwyn speaking on behalf of the New York Landmarks Conservancy supported the preservation plan for the society and suggested it seek to have its impressive, skylit, library atrium designated an official city interior landmark. She also noted that her organization regrets the "demolition of several fine older structures" that are not protected by the City's Landmarks law at the site of the proposed new tower.

    Copyright © 1994-2008 CITY REALTY.COM INC.

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    I'm just so angry that they can't incorporate the existing 516 building into their base without having to demolish it completely.



    Andrea Goldwyn and the New York Landmarks Conservancy just lost (they never really had any) all of their credibility in my eyes by not suggesting or even demanding that 516 be saved or at least the façade preserved.

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    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    How depressing. Another one bites the dust.

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    In the long run... londonlawyer's Avatar
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    Not to mention, the building appears to be a lame box. Rosen is a cheap SOB.

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    I will be sending this message to that Mark Gordon guy mentioned above and hopefully to Aby Rosen himself. Any suggestions from you guys will be welcomed.

    Dear ----

    I am an ordinary New Yorker who is a passionate follower of architecture and new developments in New York City and when I read about your company's plans to develop a new hotel on Fifth Avenue and 43rd Street, I was greatly disheartened to learn that the plans include razing the lovely Beaux-Arts 516 Fifth Ave. building currently occupying the corner of the site.

    Elegant, classic buildings such as these are what gives Fifth Avenue the catchet and world-renowned high end image its current success and appeal is derived upon and on which your new project will seek to capitalize on. Slowly but surely however, new modern architecturally-insipid replacements will erase many of the fine but unprotected structures on this avenue, which over time I fear, will turn Fifth Avenue into yet another sterile, boxy Sixth Avenue or Park Avenue, for example.

    Therefore, it would be highly laudable of your company to preserve the existing 516 Fifth Avenue's outer shell or façade and incorporate it into the base of your new hotel tower. This method of preservation-development has been done with great success in various projects around the city such as the new Hearst Building on Eighth Avenue.

    By doing so, it will accomplish two important things: maintain Fifth Avenue's prestigious and elegant appearance but also provide a grand ground-level entrance for your new hotel resulting in a win-win sitution. Your project could become a fine and leading example of blending historic architectural refinement with modern, first-class amenities.

    While I understand that the decision may not rest with you alone but as someone in a highly influential position on this project, I plead to you to give this suggestion some consideration and to also pass it along to the ulimate decision maker, whomever it may be.

    I thank you kindly for your time.

  11. #11

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    Thanks for the effort AN.

    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    Landmarks approves air rights transfer to 516 Fifth Avenue

    The new tower is setback on a clear-glass-clad base that is designed to complement the famous, landmark bank building on the southwest corner at 43rd Street that was designed in 1954 by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and is one of the hallmarks of mid-20th Century modern architecture in the city.

    This is getting so tired. Can we move on...
    Last edited by Derek2k3; August 5th, 2008 at 11:44 PM.

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    I sure hope that's just a massing study...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    This is getting so tired. Can we move on...
    To show you how twisted this city has become, this is that 1954 SOM-designed bank building that is landmarked:




    Meanwhile just right across 43rd St, 516 is not protected and will be razed...



    That Google map pic ^ doesn't even show the beautiful detailing at the top of this building. Just mindnumbingly incredible.

  14. #14

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    Just as the to-be-demo'd midrise, the bank really is worthy of being landmarked.

    But there are only so many ways a glass box can complement another glass box. These copies only make the originals seem more unremarkable.

    How conveniernt that these historically sensitive architects are going to compliment a bank from the 50's but not give a nod to the older landmarks they are transferring their rights from and demolishing. It would be more honest if they just said we designed a glass box because it was cheapest to build.

    This reminds me of Zuckerman's Lever House B.S. going up at 55th & Eighth.

  15. #15

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    The Landmarks Preservation Commision can really use an overhaul itself. It's rather dumbfounding to see what gets preserved and what doesn't.

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