A new owner out of South Carolina has grabbed this site at 325 West 33rd Street ...
CURBED showed a plan about one year ago. Not clear what the plan will now be, but the track record of the new owner leaves me wary ...
New hotel slated for Penn Station area
South Carolina-based operator picked up West 33rd Street site for bargain $22M
last month; plans to build its first Manhattan hotel after years of trying for site
By Theresa Agovino
September 24, 2010
A South Carolina-based hotel company is planning to build its first-ever Manhattan hotel on a parcel it purchased on West 33rd Street for $21.9 million.
OTO Development purchased the site across from the Farley Post Office last month, but executives don't want to discuss specific plans about what kind of a hotel they want for the site or when construction might start. The company currently owns 33 hotels operating under different brand names such as Hyatt Place and Residence Inn. In the past, OTO has owned a hotel in Queens and several on Long Island.
“Before we hadn't been able to close a deal that made financial sense (in Manhattan),” said Corry Oakes, chief executive officer of the firm, which is located in Spartanburg, S.C.
OTO bought the parcel at a 30% discount from what the previous owner paid.
Mr. Oaks said the site was very appealing because of the pending redevelopment of Penn Station and the Hudson rail yards.
John Fox, a senior vice president at PKF Consulting, agrees it is a great site for a hotel. “There are not that many hotels within a block or two of Penn station,” said Mr. Fox, adding that Vornado Realty Trust plans to close the largest one in the area, the Hotel Pennsylvania. “There is a lot happening in that neighborhood.”
Dan Fasulo, managing director of Real Capital Analytics, said the transaction signals a willingness of some investors to buy raw land, something no one was willing to do during the recession.
OTO was established in 2004 and one of its chief investors is billionaire Wayne Huizenga, who started three Fortune 500 companies, owned the Florida Marlins baseball team and still holds a small piece of the Miami Dolphins football team.
© 2010 Crain Communications Inc.