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Thread: NYC Hotel News

  1. #571

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    If it uses good materials and maintains the street wall it might be alright. If it doesn't do either of those things....it's another POS.

    The Flower District and Lower Manhattan are bearing the brunt of these eyesores.

  2. #572
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    May 2007

    Economy hotels no bargain for developers

    City's prolific hotel builders mostly turning away from lower price bracket


    By Lauren Elkies

    Developers are checking out of the economy hotel business.

    Though the hotel market is hot, with land and construction costs as high as they are, some hoteliers say budget hotels are not worth investing in at this point, at least in Manhattan.

    In a sign of the shift, one developer, Texas-based Highgate Holdings, which owns more than 6,000 hotel rooms in Manhattan, reportedly plans to convert a Holiday Inn at 138 Lafayette Street into a boutique property. The developer bought the 14-story, 230-room property two years ago for $42.5 million.

    "I don't think anyone can afford to build economy hotels in Manhattan," said hotel developer Sam Chang, CEO of McSam Hotel. Chang has built about 25 hotels in the city, six of them in the economy class, including a Howard Johnson at 135 East Houston Street on the Lower East Side and a Days Inn in Long Island City, slated to open this month.

    The costs of economy hotels are too high to turn a profit, Chang said. The Days Inn "will be my last economy hotel."


    Developer John Lam of Lam's Group concurred with Chang's assessment. Lam finished an economy hotel, a Howard Johnson at 449 West 36th Street, in January. He sold the hotel the same month for $11.7 million, he said.

    But while most hotel developers may think economy hotels in Manhattan are about as compelling as used towels, a few others are pushing forward with economy projects by shrinking room sizes, shifting their focus to the outer boroughs, or trying stylish versions of budget lodgings.

    In order to justify building any new project in Manhattan, Lam said, rooms have to be at least $200 a night. In the outer boroughs, he said, economy hotels can still thrive, assuming room rates start at $150 a night.

    Many hotel real estate pros blur the line between "economy" and "budget" hotels.

    "The terms 'economy' and 'budget' can be used interchangeably," said Eric Lewis, a managing director and industry leader in the hospitality and gaming group at Cushman & Wakefield. "Generally, they represent the bottom-rate tier for traditional hotel products."

    But according to Smith Travel Research, which tracks hotel performance, economy and budget hotels differ.

    Hotels in metro markets can be divided into five price categories: luxury is the top 15 percent; upscale is the next 15 percent; mid-price is the middle 30 percent; economy is the next 20 percent; and budget is the lowest 20 percent, according to data from Smith Travel Research. The company does not track hostels or dormitories.

    In the New York City metro area luxury segment, there are 56 hotels with an average nightly room rate of $333.62, as of March 1, Smith Travel data shows. The upscale sector comprises 64 hotels with an average room rate of $207.51. The 119 mid-price hotels have an average room rate of $155.67. The economy group includes 84 hotels with an average room rate of $119.12, but the data is not that reliable because less than 40 percent of the 84 hotels provided data for the study. The data for the budget market, where the room rate is $113.38, is even less reliable, because only 6 percent of the 73 hotels so categorized participated in the survey.

    New York City's hotels are significantly pricier than those in the rest of the country. In the two bottom classes nationwide, there are 9,163 hotels with an average room rate of $58.66. The budget hotels have an average room rate of $47.49.

    Some developers say the key to having a successful budget hotel in New York City is using upscale branding or offering a few in-demand amenities.

    InterContinental Hotels is expected to open a New York City version of the boutique budget Hotel Indigo chain on 127 West 28th Street by the first quarter of 2009, according to the New York Post.

    Vijay Dandapani, the chief operating officer of Apple Core Hotels, considers his five budget hotels to be part of a "limited-service segment."

    The five Manhattan Apple Core Hotels budget hotels offer a business center, complimentary continental breakfast in a breakfast room and, in some hotels, a fitness center. The rooms have free wireless Internet connections, a limited selection of cable TV channels, a telephone and a hair dryer. A number of the hotels will have flat-screen TVs by the end of the summer, Dandapani said.

    Room rates in all five of the hotels average $170 a night per room but can dip as low as $99.

    The room rates in Apple Core hotels are low, Dandapani said, because when his company developed its hotels, the "entry cost was lower" than it would be today.

    Most recently Apple Core opened Red Roof at 6 West 32nd Street between Broadway and Fifth Avenue in 2000.

    If a developer were to build a budget hotel in Manhattan in today's market, "because of the entry point, it's flat-out impossible to do a budget hotel," Dandapani said.

    Hotel Carter at 250 West 43rd Street asks for up to $100 a night for its renovated rooms, according to its Web site. "These types of properties are typically not included in discussions on traditional hotels -- be they economy, budget or any other rate tier -- because the product offered and the typical customer are so drastically different," said Lewis, whose appraises budget hotels and hostels.

    One prominent hotel developer is even attempting to create a new economy hotel segment.

    BD Hotels developed what its calling a "cheap chic" hotel at the site of the former Pickwick Arms at 230 East 51st Street. The Pod Hotel, which opened in January, offers 347 guest rooms -- a number of which have bunk beds and shared bathrooms -- with iPod docking stations, free WiFi and LCD-screen TVs. Nightly room rates start at $89 per night and are averaging $160, according to Richard Born, principal of BD Hotels.

    It may be an economy hotel, but "it is still kind of a cool hotel," said Lewis, meaning it differs from the bare-bones chain budget hotel.

    The Pod Hotel could spur a new trend.

    Lewis speculated that "it could conceivably be a recognized sort of subcategory. Whether the market can support 10 of these properties, I don't think anybody knows at this point."

    But Born said the Pod Hotel is definitely profitable.

    "We're selling rooms like crazy, faster than we ever expected. We are 90 percent occupied now," Born said in early April.

    The secret to the Pod Hotel's success: truncating the size of the rooms to 125 square feet, one-third the size of a standard hotel room.

    "We build micro-rooms," Born said.

    The proof is in the pudding. "On a per-square-foot basis, I'm charging 30 percent more," he noted.

    Hank Freid, founder and CEO of the Impulsive Group, a hospitality company, also caters to the tourist looking for trendy-but-cheap accommodations in Manhattan.

    Last summer he opened the Moroccan-themed Marrakech Hotel NYC at 2688 Broadway at 103rd Street, and now he is upgrading his Broadway Hotel & Hostel at 230 West 101st Street at Broadway, where room rates start at $30 a night.

    A rung below economy hotels are hostels, and there are at least a few dozen in New York City, most of them in Manhattan. Hostels typically offer a dormitory-style setting with multiple beds per room and shared bathrooms. They have the cheapest rates, although there can be great disparity in what they charge.

    Cushman & Wakefield's Lewis said that hostels are generally converted apartment buildings because the owners felt they could make more money operating them as youth hostels, which in some cases can be true.

    Chelsea International Hostel, at 251 West 20th Street, has dormitory-style rooms without bathrooms for $30 including tax per night and charges $34 for those rooms with bathrooms.

    Some budget hotels can make it if their property is in an off-beat location that is not conducive to a more upscale development, Lewis said.

    Realizing that they can sell their property for more than they can bring in, some operators are selling out.

    Such is the case with a slightly different kind of accommodation. For example, the Salvation Army has shuttered what it calls its two Manhattan "residence programs," for transient and "working women of moderate means." In January, the Salvation Army served the last of its eviction notices to residents in the organization's two Manhattan facilities, Parkside and Ten Eyck.

    The bottom line is, "it's a question of whether the current use of them is supplanted by another higher and better use," Lewis said.

    Copyright © 2003-2007 The Real Deal.

  3. #573
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    Not sure if there is a thread here but Drake Hotel will be demolished and a new 400,000 sf office tower will be built on its lot

  4. #574
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    Quote Originally Posted by kliq6 View Post
    Not sure if there is a thread here but Drake Hotel will be demolished and a new 400,000 sf office tower will be built on its lot

    People were predicting an 850 foot building. I, however, have been predicting a 600 foot POS given that Macklowe is greedy and not interested in building good things for the city.

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    600 is closer, design is nothing special

  6. #576
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    Hyatt Promises ‘Homey’ Feeling in New Chain



    By JENNIFER CONLIN
    Published: May 6, 2007

    The Global Hyatt Corporation is hoping the word Andaz will soon be a brand name as well known to consumers as, say, Hyatt. Meaning “personal style” in Hindi, the name is being given to a to the renovated Great Eastern Hotel in London’s financial district. This first Andaz is to open this fall and be followed in late 2008 by a second Andaz in New York at 75 Wall Street and a third, the following year, on Fifth Avenue across from the New York Public Library.

    Billing Andaz as “not pretentious and without attitude,” the company says in a press release that it will offer “a highly functional environment characterized by sophistication, innovative design, local identity and casual elegance” — hardly a down-to-earth description.

    “We are calling it casual luxury with service,” said Katie Meyer, vice president for corporate communications at Global Hyatt. “We want guests to feel like they are at home in a relaxed and uncomplicated environment.”

    And so, she said, the entry will not a “lobby” but more like a “living room,” and will not have a front desk. Instead, guests will be checked in by “hosts” with a P.D.A. device and then be handed a key card.

    There will be a cappuccino bar and a refrigerator in the entry area with refreshments for guests. Meeting attendees may have kitchen areas for breaks, as in the rendering above.

    “We want to help guests live their hotel experience with the same freedom they live their everyday lives,” Ms. Meyer said.

    Rates will be comparable to high-end boutique and luxury hotels in a particular market.

    Hyatt says Andaz hotels will also be environmentally friendly. “For one thing, we won’t have paper on the desk,” said Ms. Meyer, adding that the London hotel will be decorated with recycled timber, carpeting and other materials.

    There are also plans to open Andaz hotels in Beijing and Moscow, though it may be a while before Andaz is a household name.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  7. #577

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    Garages at 52-54 West 36th St., for $15.5 million, and 231 East 43rd St., for $16.5 million, both sold to McSam Hotels, a company owned by Sam Chang, an increasingly prominent budget-hotel developer
    http://www.cityfeet.com/News/NewsArt...49&PartnerPath=


    Sure enough, a new building permit was filed today for 231 east 43rd by Kaufman. McSam enters midtown. I suppose the brightside is that it replaces a horrible parking garage.

  8. #578
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    The location on that^ is just east of 3rd Avenue. Thanks for the update, it reminded me of something I meant to post the other day about a new Shvo hotel:

    We’re doing a really, really exciting building in midtown, on Lexington—a phenomenal, very unique building over there.

    What’s the cross street of the Lexington Avenue project?

    Can’t say. Just midtown. Trust me …. And there’s a third one I really can’t speak about now.
    http://www.observer.com/2007/michael...page=0%2C2

  9. #579
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Lamb's Club Renovation

    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime View Post

    The Lamb’s Club – N/A rooms
    130 West 44th Street
    Scheduled Opening: October 2007

    Next on the agenda for Vikram Chatwal, owner of Time, Dream and Night hotels, is converting the landmark 1904 Sanford White-designed Lamb's Club into a luxury hotel.

    Architect Thierry Despont has signed on to design.

    This is a renovated property.
    The gutting of the old Lamb's Theater is well underway ...






  10. #580
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    NYC hotel development on a tear: report

    By: Lisa Fickenscher
    Published: June 4, 2007 - 2:39 pm

    Manhattan will gain 50-plus hotels and 8,000 rooms over the next three years, marking the largest such increase in the city's history, according to a new report issued Monday by consulting firm HVS International.

    The research was announced at New York University's annual International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference at the Marriott Marquis New York.

    By 2009, the city will have 72,000 rooms up from 64,000 currently. The majority of the new projects or 46% will be budget oriented properties without food and beverage outlets.

    But the glut of new development is expected to contribute to a small decline in occupancy rates and slow growth rate of the price of hotel rooms.

    "Supply is the biggest concern in the industry," said Kathleen Taylor, president and chief operating officer of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "Whenever we get into trouble in our industry it is when we allow supply to outstrip demand."

    A lot of the new development is being commissioned by real estate investors or others not traditionally associated with the hotel industry, says Lalia Rach, divisional dean of NYU's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management. "A lot of novices are getting into the business," she says.

    Only 26% of the Manhattan projects will be more upscale, boutique properties.

    Entire contents © 2007 Crain Communications, Inc.

  11. #581

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    The majority of the new projects or 46%
    I don't think that word means what the reporter thinks it means.

  12. #582
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    ^ Or translated...equals McSams and Lams Group junk.

    46% of 8000 is 3680 rooms, which means that many of these new rooms are of the junk variety.



    The majority of the new projects or 46% will be budget oriented properties without food and beverage outlets.
    Last edited by antinimby; June 5th, 2007 at 06:57 PM.

  13. #583
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    Shut this sucker down! And the same goes for that McSam garbage, too.

    UNIONS LABEL 'SCAB' HOTEL


    By RICH CALDER

    June 9, 2007 -- Close to 1,000 union workers gathered outside a construction site of a planned Sheraton Hotel in Downtown Brooklyn and threatened to shut down the $48 million project, saying its developer is using non-union, illegal immigrants.

    "This is modern-day slavery. We're going to shut them down and take this city back one brick at a time," said John Holt, of Brooklyn Carpenters Local 926.

    He was among the long list of union delegates and local politicians leading the protest of developer John Lam's planned 33-story hotel on Duffield Street.

    Copyright 2007 NYP Holdings, Inc.

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    1 Hotel & Residences Coming To New York
    Wednesday, June 13, 2007-11:26:28 AM


    NEW YORK— Starwood Capital Group plans to open the first of its environmentally-friendly 1 Hotel & Residences in Manhattan on a site in midtown on the West Side.

    The hotel will be part of a 31-story mixed-use green tower being developed by 40th Street Development, LLC, which is an affiliate of Ascent Real Estate Advisors, LLC. The site is across from Bryant Park.

    Scheduled to open in 2010, the project will be built to conform to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Evironmental Design) Standards.

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    Can you post the source of that report?

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