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Thread: Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

  1. #1

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    The Biltmore Tower is a new development located at 261 West 47th Street, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues, under the partnership of The Moinian Group and Jack Parker Corporation.

    $155-Mil Hell's Kitchen Apartment Tower Clears First City Council Hurdle
    By Glen Thompson (
    Last updated: Nov 19, 2001 09:54AM

    NEW YORK CITY-A controversial residential project slated for development in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood won a crucial battle Friday, passing a City Council subcommittee vote despite vehement opposition by a number of neighborhood groups.

    What was planned as a 62-story residential tower next to the dilapidated Biltmore Theater at 47th Street and Eighth Avenue has been lopped down to 51 floors with 20% of the units designated as affordable housing. But area residents protested the project vigorously at today's meeting of the Land Use Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises in an effort to get the developer to agree to drop the building's height to less than 50 stories.

    Construction site of the Biltmore Tower on 9 September 2001. The Paramount Hotel in the background

    The site of the future Biltmore Tower on 25 August 2000. The new W New York - Times Square Hotel in the background.

  2. #2

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    From today's New York Times

    December 12, 2001

    Dawning of a New Age for the Biltmore

    It seems like ages since the Age of Aquarius dawned at the Biltmore Theater and recent years have not been kind. Fire swept through it. Water penetrated its walls. Scavengers made off with its fixtures. And all along, the abandoned playhouse seemed to resist every attempt to resuscitate it.

    Until now. Ground will be broken today or at least shovelfuls of glitter will be tossed during a news conference to mark the impending renovation of the Biltmore, a landmark theater at 261 West 47th Street, which is to be occupied by the Manhattan Theater Club when it reopens in 2003.

    The rehabilitation of the Biltmore is tied to the construction of a 51- story apartment tower next door, on Eighth Avenue. Both are being undertaken by Biltmore 47 Associates, a partnership of the Jack Parker Corporation and the Moinian Group, which owns the Biltmore, where the nonprofit Manhattan Theater Club will be a tenant.

    Once home to "Hair" and "Barefoot in the Park," but dark since 1987, the Biltmore will emerge from the renovation with a smaller auditorium. The rear wall is to be moved about 22 feet forward, reducing the seating to 650 from 950 and yielding a more intimate space.

    "You want the audience to feel as if they're in the same room as what's happening on stage," said Lynne Meadow, artistic director of the Manhattan Theater Club. "We're trying to create a theater that's warm, hospitable and first-rate."

    In the space gained by shrinking the auditorium, there will be room for an upper lobby and patrons' lounge, an important amenity for a subscription-based theatrical organization. Another lounge will be gained by fully excavating the basement, in some places through bedrock.

    Although the project began to take form more than a year ago, Barry Grove, the executive producer of the Manhattan Theater Club, said it had a special symbolism after the attack on New York, whose awful toll is evident at the firehouse just around the corner from the Biltmore.

    "After 9/11," Mr. Grove said, "it's an important project for the theater as we go forward in this difficult and exciting time."

    But neighbors are concerned about the impact of a new high-rise on Eighth Avenue once a low-rise and low-rent area particularly since the tower next to the Biltmore will be 20 stories taller than zoning would ordinarily allow, a bonus permitted by the city because the developers are rehabilitating the theater.

    "When you bring in luxury housing, you change the demographics," said John Fisher, president of the Clinton Special District Coalition, a neighborhood group. "What does a developer need financially to rehab the Biltmore and make a profit? My feeling was, give him what he needs and not a penny more."

    The theater renovation has been designed by Polshek Partnership Architects. While the firm is best known for the strikingly modern Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, the Biltmore project is more akin to its work at Carnegie Hall, in which existing features were restored and highlighted.

    The rake, or angle, of the orchestra floor will be increased and the stepped seating areas of the balcony will be stretched a bit to create extra leg room. Otherwise, said Duncan Hazard, the partner in charge from the Polshek office, the auditorium will be largely restored and recreated. The project was unanimously approved by the City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

    More modern touches will be found on the exterior of the building, which does not have landmark status. For example, there will be a new glass canopy, glass doors and small pinpoint spotlights in the sidewalk.

    Even after the Biltmore opens, the Manhattan Theater Club will continue operating its 150- and 299-seat theaters at City Center on West 55th Street, between the Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue.

    The organization will announce a $35 million capital campaign today with the goal of raising $8 million for an endowment and $27 million to pay for the renovation and eventual purchase of the building from Biltmore 47 Associates, which Mr. Grove said he hoped to do after five years.

    A good deal of the money has already been raised. Mr. Grove said the Manhattan Theater Club board had pledged about $10 million and New York City had appropriated $5 million. Biltmore 47 Associates will also discount the purchase price by $4.65 million, which is counted as a contribution.

    The new tower, designed by Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron, will have 464 rental apartments, 30,000 square feet of commercial space, 6,000 square feet of retail space and an underground garage with about 60 spaces, said Robert S. Skolnick, executive vice president of the Jack Parker Corporation.

    The view of Biltmore Theater from 47th Street

  3. #3

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    I feel it is a good thing for this tower to be built, i also beleive in NYC zoning laws, but sometimes they can be a real pain. I hope when this building is built, it will bring a new wave of developments to the area!

  4. #4

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    A crane is up on the site of construction of The Biltmore. 19 January 2002.

  5. #5

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    Why do people seem to think that a few stories will make a difference?

  6. #6

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

  7. #7

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    that is an attractive looking building, sort of Art- Deco with color, how tall are we talkin here?????

  8. #8

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    Here is the construction update on The Biltmore. 17 February 2002.

  9. #9

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    nice picture! What is that building to the left side of the page. It looks like off white concrete and i do not think i have seen it before

  10. #10

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    I think you are referring to Hotel Edison. I posted some pictures in this thread.

  11. #11

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    thanks Edward, can you answer my question about how tall Biltmore Tower will be?????

  12. #12

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    Before it was going to be 62 stories but now it's 51 stories, so i guess it's somewhere between 520-550 feet.

  13. #13

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    Building's website opened at


    New York Times reports:

    At the Biltmore, leasing is expected to start in February, said Kimberly Cafaro, a vice president at Jack Parker. The average rents for the studio to two-bedroom units are to be $1,900 to $3,900 a month.


    The Biltmore Tower is at 51 floors on August 1st, 2002. The view from Worldwide Plaza apartment building.

  14. #14

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    when will the project be considored "completed" and how far along is it now, have they finished putting up the walls and paneling.

  15. #15

    Default Hell's Kitchen Biltmore Tower

    Picture by TowersNYC :

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