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Thread: NYC Hotel News

  1. #436
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    I think we should start a thread on just the McSam / Chang garbage.

    This way we know where to head to if we want to see junk.

  2. #437
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    Agreed. It's kind of odd how every one of his/their hotels is so predictable.

  3. #438
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    No, it's not odd at all.

    It's an indication of absolutely no talent on Gene Kaufman's part and cheapness on McSam's part.

    A deadly combo.

  4. #439
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Authorities Say Scheme to Steal Hotel Was Foiled

    nytimes.com
    By RUSS BUETTNER
    December 30, 2006

    Call it grand theft hotel — almost.

    A Brooklyn man was arrested yesterday on charges that he fraudulently tried to claim ownership of the SoHo Grand Hotel, one of the premier inns in Lower Manhattan and the scene of oh-so-many gossip items about celebrities in illicit entanglements.

    The man, Kouadio Kouassi, 46, filed a deed with the city showing himself as the hotel’s owner, but it was not processed because it lacked signatures, officials said.

    When Mr. Kouassi returned to see if he had been declared the rightful owner, a Department of Finance employee believed something suspicious was afoot and notified the city Department of Investigation.

    But, apparently undaunted and bent on claiming the prized property, Mr. Kouassi returned several more times to get his deed processed, officials said.

    City investigators contacted the hotel’s true owners, the Hartz Group, which said it had never heard of Mr. Kouassi and had no intention of giving him the hotel, valued at $76 million, according to city records.

    “We think that since we bought the land, built the hotel and have run it for 12 years that we actually own the hotel,” said Ron Simoncini, a spokesman for Hartz. Mr. Simoncini eventually stopped laughing and added, “I guess we should take it as a compliment.”

    The hotel, on West Broadway just below Grand Street, has 363 guest rooms, including penthouse loft suites with private outdoor terraces, at nightly rates starting at $399. In the rooms are iPods with Bose Sound Docks, lotions by Malin + Goetz and Frette bathrobes and bedding.

    Mr. Kouassi was charged with attempted grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. The authorities said he was in custody last night and had not yet hired a lawyer. If convicted, he will face up to 15 years in jail.

    “This defendant foolishly thought he had engineered a clever and brash ruse to gain ownership of a significant commercial property,” said Rose Gill Hearn, the city investigations commissioner, in a statement. “He may now find himself sleeping in less glamorous accommodations.”

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  5. #440
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Outer borough hotel boom gets boost
    Developers reap benefits of government tax breaks in hot market




    Best Western Kennedy
    Airport in Jamaica, Queens.



    By Lauren Elkies
    January 2007

    New York City hoteliers are looking beyond the core Manhattan market and taking advantage of property tax breaks to build hotels in the outer boroughs.

    The costliness and scarcity of land in Manhattan makes farther flung hotel development more appealing, especially in a boom market.

    They may not feature storied bars and $1,000-a-night rooms, but the Holiday Inn Express in Maspeth, the Best Western in Jamaica, the Comfort Inn in Jackson Heights, the Days Inn in Long Island City and the Independent Hotel in East New York are among the outer borough hotels getting breaks on property taxes through a city program known as the Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program, generally called ICIP.

    ICIP was established by the city in 1984 to encourage commercial and industrial development in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan north of 96th Street. A portion of Lower Manhattan also qualifies for the program, which offers a partial exemption from or abatement of property taxes. The program will expire June 30, 2007, though developers said that's not influencing their decisions to build outside of Manhattan.

    Hotel developer Sam Chang, the CEO of McSam Hotel, has almost 2 million square feet of new hotel space in the pipeline. He plans to apply for ICIP benefits for some of his projects, particularly budget hotels in Queens and the Bronx.

    "It's definitely a big help," Chang said. "It does motivate me to build more. It helps to reduce your operating costs by like 3 to 5 percent."

    Tax breaks are a particular necessity for development in the Bronx, he said. With expected daily room rates of less than $100, Chang said he needs the tax exemptions to help offset the costs of the land and construction. Manhattan rates averaged $260 a night in October, according to market research firm PKF Consulting.

    Hoteliers can get the tax benefits for building new hotels or renovating existing ones in most of the city outside small pockets of Manhattan. Developers pay taxes on the assessed value of the existing land, not the assessed value of the new construction or building improvements.

    Depending on the area, projects can receive the full exemption for 16 years, followed by a nine-year period when the exemption declines by 10 percent annually, or an 11-year exemption followed by four years when the exemption declines 20 percent per year. At the end of the exemption period, the full tax load is assessed.

    "That can be a significant benefit," said Robert Altman, a Manhattan real estate attorney who specializes in government benefits. To illustrate, the Best Western City View Inn in Long Island City, which has the ICIP program in place, received the benefits for 16 years with the nine-year phase-out. Averaging the assessment values over the years at $195,000 a year, multiplied by the current tax rate of 11 percent (which fluctuates each year), the hotel developers get $21,450 times 20.5 years (a blended number), saving $440,000 in taxes during the term of the hotel's eligibility.

    John Fox, senior vice president and executive in charge of the New York office at PKF Consulting, which covers the hospitality industry, said the outer boroughs appeal to hotel developers because prices are lower than Manhattan, where "we're at record room rates," he said.

    "Until very recently, meaning the last year or two, in no disrespect to the people in the boroughs, the boroughs have not been an area that had much in the way of development or development interest," Fox said.

    There are 129 hotels in all four outer boroughs, excluding SRO-type hotels, dorms or private clubs. Manhattan has 198, according to the Department of Finance, which administers ICIP. Of the outer borough hotels, 48 have ICIP exemptions.

    Eric Lewis, managing director at the hospitality and gaming group at Cushman & Wakefield, said hotel development in the outer boroughs is on the rise and that property tax reductions in the early years can aid in the feasibility of their development.

    In the past year, Cushman & Wakefield appraised eight hotel sites in the outer boroughs, all of which use ICIP tax programs. Only two used the tax breaks last year and the year before.

    Lewis said there was no causal relationship between the imminent ICIP expiration and the surge of hotel development, and said he thought that the program would be renewed.

    "The city is supportive of the aims of the program and we are evaluating it in connection with other benefits that are available," said Owen Stone, spokesperson for the Department of Finance.

    But tax breaks alone do not make a project viable for a developer.

    "The market conditions have to rise to a level that make a hotel project at least close to feasible," Lewis said. "And then the ICIP exemption can get the project over the top."

    Stephen Peca, a partner at commercial real estate advisory firm Concourse Realty Group, said that he advises clients to investigate government-sponsored programs, though he said he doesn't know the ins and outs of ICIP.

    "As a developer you want to obtain as much money as you possibly can," Peca said. "Every developer should always look for what the public incentives are because the government is really saying what they want to have in the city."

    Developers must apply for ICIP benefits before obtaining a building permit or starting construction. And, property owners have to file a certificate of continuing use annually with the finance department.

    ICIP is not the only incentive program for city hoteliers. New York State Empire Zone Benefits also provide tax-related benefits in certain zones in the city.

    The Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island, for example, received tax breaks for investing in the West Shore Empire Zone in addition to ICIP tax exemptions.


    Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal

  6. #441
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime View Post




    Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal
    Looks like the kind of hotel that's full of hookers. : (

  7. #442

    Default hotel empire

    walking by the empire hotel yesterday i noticed that a starbucks is getting ready to open in the space that was formerly lincoln staioners. does anyone know if PJ CLARKES is still planning on opening a restaurant there? what are the plans for the hotel now?

  8. #443
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    Default Heres a big loss to the NYC Hotel Industry, this place packs in Midwesterns

    Vornado Plans Tower, 5 Trading Floors for Hotel Site

    By David M. Levitt
    Jan. 4 (Bloomberg)

    Vornado Realty Trust plans to replace New York's Hotel Pennsylvania, where Glenn Miller and Duke Ellington once played, with a 2.5 million square-foot office tower with five trading floors designed to attract financial firms, according to a report by brokers Grubb & Ellis Co.

    Vornado, the second-largest U.S. real estate investment trust, aims to complete the building in midtown Manhattan by 2011, according to the report, which Grubb plans to release by next week.

    The planned 500,000 square feet of trading space could entice a major financial firm as the property's anchor tenant, said David Arena, president of Grubb's New York office. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is building a new headquarters in lower Manhattan with 500,000 square feet of trading space, and its rivals are anxious to keep up, he said.

    "The next most logical site in New York that can be brought to market the fastest is the Hotel Pennsylvania,'' said Arena. "There's definitely a market for the space right now.''

    The 1,700-room hotel -- the city's fourth largest, according to visitors bureau NYC & Co. -- is across Seventh Ave. from Pennsylvania Station, the largest U.S. rail hub.

    Vornado, based in Paramus, New Jersey, said in filings with securities regulators last year that it's considering building a skyscraper where the hotel now stands. The Grubb report provides the first detail on how big that building might be, and how much trading space is planned.

    Wendi Kopsick, a Vornado spokeswoman, said the company had no comment.

    In his annual letter to shareholders on May 1, Vornado Chairman Steven Roth described the hotel as ``a placeholder, sort of like a parking lot, but in this case with $22 million of earnings. It is one of the few obvious office sites that could support 2 million-plus square feet.''

    The property could also support housing, or a mix of uses, Roth said in the letter.

    Vornado shares rose 39 cents to $122.10 at 4:00 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares rose 46 percent in 2006, compared with a 28 percent gain for the Bloomberg Real Estate Investment Trust Index.

    Vornado executives briefed Grubb in October on its plan for the site. They didn't say how tall the building would be, said Richard Persichetti, senior Grubb research analyst. At 2.5 million square feet it would rival the 2.7 million square-foot Empire State Building in terms of floor space.

    "There are zoning restrictions that have to do with sunlight and daylight,'' he said. ``So the massing and height still have to be determined,'' said Persichetti.

    Another broker who's been briefed on the plan said he isn't sure a new building would house a financial company.

    "They don't intend to build that building on a speculative basis,'' Neil Goldmacher, executive vice president of Newmark Knight Frank said of Vornado. ``The building can absolutely be customized depending on the type of user they attract.''

    Silverstein Properties Inc. is planning to offer up to nine trading floors in two of the three towers it is building at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan.

    Merrill Lynch & Co. has talked with executives of both companies about moving its headquarters to either site, as well as to sites in Jersey City, New Jersey, people with knowledge of the discussions said in November.

    Largest Area Landlord

    Vornado is the largest landlord in the Penn Station area, where it owns seven other properties. In November, it agreed to buy the Manhattan Mall, a 1-million square-foot retail and office building complex that abuts the back of Hotel Pennsylvania, for $689 million.

    In a partnership with Related Cos., Vornado also holds development rights to the landmark Farley Post Office building just west of Penn Station on Eighth Ave. The Farley Post Office is planned to become Moynihan Station, a regional rail hub.

    Vornado and Related have proposed tearing down the Madison Square Garden sports arena, which sits on top of Penn Station, opening the site up for a new mixed-use tower, and a new glass- domed Penn Station.

    That tower could be 2.5 million to 3 million square feet, according to the Grubb report.

    The 87-year-old hotel's phone number inspired the 1938 Glenn Miller hit ``Pennsylvania 6-5000.'' It was built by the Pennsylvania Railroad and designed by the firm McKim Mead & White in the same Beaux Arts style as the Farley Building and as the original Penn Station, whose demolition in the early 1960s galvanized New York's preservation movement.

    Citing the hotel's big-band era heritage, Arena said, ``it's probably still a great place for a dance, but it makes an even better trading floor.''

    The hotel, in spite of its pedigree, has never been considered a standout piece of architecture, said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which monitors the city's landmarks designation process. She said she had no record of it ever being proposed for landmarking.

    "It's a shame to lose any McKim Mead & White, because even their second-best is better than most,'' she said. ``It's probably slightly more of a cultural loss than an architectural loss.''

  9. #444
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post

    ... new hotel at 52-54 Watts St. (just west of 6th Avenue).

    Architect: PETER F. POON ARCHITECT, P.C.

    17 Stories
    Height: 156'
    This week ...


  10. #445
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Ugh! Poon - another moron hack.

    I swear, there's no shortage of them in this city.

    God help us.

  11. #446
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Now you can see the new Poon Palace starting to pop up over 6th Avenue ...


  12. #447

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Now you can see the new Poon Palace starting to pop up over 6th Avenue ...

    "Poon Palace" (My proclivity toward high school humor made me laugh at loud when I read that!)

  13. #448
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    Thumbs down

    Voice your opinion:

    Gene Kauffman Architects

    525 Broadway Frnt
    New York, NY , 10012-4411
    Address Map
    Phone: 212-625-8700
    FAX: 212-625-8867

    Products Description:
    "Architectural" service

    or, send them an email at:

    office@gkarchitects.com (got it from their secretary)

    Maybe Gene's work email is Gene@gkarchitects.com or kauffman@gkarchitects.com?

    When an oil company creates a hazerdous spill, they should be forced to clean it up. When an architect singlehandedly destroys a city......

  14. #449
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The one above ^^^ on Watts is by Peter Poon ... (separated at birth from GK )

  15. #450
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Kaufman, O'Hara and Poon.

    The Holy (Sh*t!) Trinity.

    Of course of all the places in the world, they would be here.

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