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Thread: Proposed - Office Tower - 1800 Park Avenue at 125th Street - by Swanke Hayden Connell

  1. #16


    October 23, 2003

    Harlem Looks Up, in Plans for a 29-Story Hotel Tower


    Harlem, which has everything from an Old Navy shop to a Disney store these days, has been without a major hotel since 1966, when the Hotel Theresa, where Fidel Castro once stayed while visiting the city, closed for good.

    This morning, however, real estate developers and a group of investors that includes Gene Autry's widow and the president of Def Jam Records planned to announce the construction of a Marriott Courtyard Hotel in a parking lot near the 125th Street Metro-North station.

    An artist's rendering of the building shows a soaring 29-story glass structure that will hold more than 200 hotel rooms, some 250,000 square feet of office space and another 46,000 square feet for retail businesses. It will also include a public park and a sidewalk cafe that promise to brighten a dingy central Harlem intersection where the elevated train now runs the length of upper Park Avenue.

    The planned hotel is yet another sign that Harlem, which in the last 10 years has undergone a boom, is continuing its second major renaissance.

    "Harlem, in my opinion, is the gateway to Manhattan," said Michael Caridi, one of the principal developers. "Eastern Harlem and western Harlem have both been developed, but between Park Avenue and Fifth Avenue there was an open space. Hopefully, this project will join the east and west."

    Mr. Caridi said he envisioned executives commuting by Metro-North to their offices in the Harlem complex. He said he could also imagine the Marriott attracting major conventions and business travelers because of its proximity to La Guardia Airport on an intersection where he said about 270,000 people pass by each day.

    The developers plan to break ground next spring, he said, and open the hotel and office complex by December 2005.

    Interest in the project has been remarkable, the developers say. Starbucks has already signed a contract to place a coffee shop inside the complex. There have been inquiries from large financial institutions and a few national restaurant chains, which the developers said they could not yet mention by name. Several companies have also expressed interest in the office space, they said.

    The project is expected to cost about $190 million. Some of that money is expected to come from the city and state and some from a group of private investors.

    One of the first investors to come on board was Jackie Autry, the widow of Gene Autry, the cowboy entertainer. Ms. Autry is a friend of Raymond Caldiero, one of the principal developers, and wanted to broaden the scope of her investments from the American West to the urban heartland.

    "I'm keenly interested in getting people back to work," she said. "Gene, after all, grew up as a dirt farmer to become one of the wealthiest people in America."

    The developers have promised Community Board 11, which represents the neighborhood, that a share of the 1,500 to 1,800 jobs that will be created by construction and occupancy will go to local residents.

    "We certainly welcome any new development on 125th Street and look forward to the jobs," said David Givens, chairman of the community board.

    Harlem itself, in fact, was a major attraction to the developers.

    "There is something special and unique in continuing the revitalization of this community," said Jeff Fried, who helped put together the development team.

    Because Kevin Liles, the president of Def Jam Records, has invested in the project, Mr. Fried went on, it could mean that the office complex will house tenants in the music industry.

    Over the years, a handful of efforts have been made to develop hotels in Harlem, but none of them so far have succeeded. What exists in the neighborhood today is a smattering of bed-and-breakfasts.

    A little more than a year ago, Mr. Caridi was driving through Harlem and saw a parking lot for the New York College of Podiatric Medicine on the southwest corner of 125th Street and Park Avenue. Mr. Caridi thought that it would make a perfect place to build an office tower. He got in touch with the college, which coincidentally was looking to secure its endowment. Mr. Caridi offered to pay them for the property with a long-term lease.

    He then got in touch with Mr. Caldiero, a former executive for Marriott, who suggested they put up an office building connected to a major hotel. "At that point, I contacted Marriott," Mr. Caldiero said, "and the interest became expanded. We met with Marriott and basically put together a deal."

    As part of the deal, the developers have hired an architect, Enrique Norton, who has promised to make his building fit in gracefully in Harlem.

    "The streets of Harlem have great energy and great intensity," Mr. Norton said. "People use the streets much more than in other neighborhoods. They sit there all day long, using urban spaces as their living rooms. We want to be able to offer that same spirit and energy back to Harlem."

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  2. #17


    That's great. That makes me happy.

  3. #18

  4. #19
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    NY Daily News

    Welcome mat not quite out

    125th St. nabe is split over hotel


    Next to the Tattoo Nail Salon, in the parking lot of the New York College of Podiatric Medicine at 125th St. and Park Ave., a sign informs passersby that the Harlem Renaissance continues.

    It says that by December 2005, a 29-story, glass-tower Marriott Courtyard Hotel will rise, outgrowing the shadow of the elevated Metro-North tracks across the street.

    Plans call for the new hotel, called Harlem Park, to house a jazz club, a rooftop deck, 208 guest rooms and 11 floors of office space.

    Harlem, which hasn't had a large tourist hotel since the Hotel Theresa closed in 1966, needs this, local politicians say.

    "Harlem is a main tourist attraction," said Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields, who added that the hotel will boost commerce by keeping visitors in the area.

    Locals, however, are greeting the impending change with mixed emotions.

    "Tourists are invading our neighborhood," said life-long Harlem resident Maggie Lucas, 50, who says the neighborhood is looking - and costing - more like midtown every day. "That building isn't for us. It's for them."

    However, other Harlemites think a hotel is long overdue.

    "I wouldn't advocate putting it on Park Ave.," cautioned Carole Bunyan, 71, pointing out such nearby eyesores as a boarded-up apartment building. "But I think it will be better for the neighborhood."

    The pols agree, and estimate that 2,000 jobs will be created, a share of which, they promised Harlem's Community Board 11, will go to local people.

    In addition, they say, the area surrounding the downtown-style hotel will also get a new look.

    "The whole neighborhood will change," said Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Manhattan). "Take a good look around, because in 10 years, it's going to look totally different."

    But making the neighborhood hotel-friendly, say people who have lived there for a while, will take a lot of work.

    "To me, it might be a good thing, it might not," said Tony Haynes, 50, as he swept the sidewalk in front of Guinea Hair Braiding across the street from the hotel site. "But I don't think the neighborhood's ready. In 15, 20 years, maybe."

    Originally published on October 28, 2003

  5. #20


    Well I hope it goes up. I saw a few billboards similar to the ones at the Milstien site, meaning that it's a sure thing that this building might go up, but I'll try and see if I can get a few pics.

  6. #21


    A scan from the Daily News: (reminds me of the Lever House for some reason)

  7. #22
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    I can see where you're coming from.

  8. #23


    Enrique Norton Designing Tower In Harlem

    November 25, 2003

    Renderings of Harlem Park, courtesy TEN Arquitectos

    Enrique Norton of TEN Arquitectos is designing a 380-foot tall, 550,000 square foot mixed-use tower in Harlem. Known as Harlem Park, the project, located on 125th street and Park Avenue, includes a 200 room Marriott hotel, office spaces, conference rooms, retail spaces, a fitness center, and music clubs. It will be the tallest structure in Harlem and the area’s first major tower.

    The hotel is located on the end of a block next to an elevated Metro North train stop and has a particularly sleek, modern design for a Marriott hotel. Norten says it is already being used by Marriott to “modernize” its image.

    “For me it’s obviously a big mark in New York to be able to build a tower,” says Norten. “It’s especially important because it’s the first tower in the area. It designates the development of an area that has been screaming for something to happen there.”

    Norton says he hopes the building will be completed by the end of 2004.

    Sam Lubell

  9. #24


    I like it a lot, and I like the subtle angles.

  10. #25


    February 22, 2004


    Gutted, Not Given Up


    Q. The Metro-North train stops in Harlem right next to a gutted and burned-out red-brick building at 125th Street and Park Avenue. Since it's been in that shape for decades, why don't they tear it down?

    A. Because it's a landmark, it's in better shape than it looks, and developers have had big plans for it, even before plans for a Marriott Courtyard hotel were announced last year for the parking lot across 125th Street.

    The six-story building, formerly occupied by the Corn Exchange Bank and the Mount Morris Bank, was completed in 1883, packed with ornamentation. It has been gutted since at least the early 1970's. But a year ago, the Economic Development Corporation sold the charred, roofless city-owned structure to a partnership between Full Spectrum Building and Development, a Harlem concern, and Ethel Bates and her nonprofit corporation, Resurgence Inc.

    "We have fought hard for that building," Ms. Bates said. She plans a Harlem Culinary School for people interested in a restaurant career along with stores and office space to help finance the culinary school. Renovation is expected to start in late spring or early summer, Ms. Bates said, and the $11 million project should take no more than a year to complete.


    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  11. #26
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    New York City


    Forty-two stories and 550 feet? That's a Midtown-size skyscraper right there.

  12. #27


    Not only has the height improved but so has the design.

  13. #28
    Forum Veteran
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    West Harlem


    This really should be interesting. It'll stick out in the skyline and be the first notworthy building in the area since the Powell... yuck.

  14. #29


    The height and floors were upped by a lot. It went from 26-28fl and 380ft to 42fl and 550ft. Let's see how this affects the development of future commercial space in Harlem.

  15. #30
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    The Brooklyn Marriott revealed the need and untapped markets outside the Manhattan tourist zones. This will be a very successful hotel.

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