View Poll Results: Hotel Pennsylvania should be replaced with the proposed office building

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  • Yes

    76 44.97%
  • No

    93 55.03%
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Thread: Hotel Pennsylvania - by McKim Mead & White - to be replaced by 15 Penn Plaza

  1. #46
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    I walked along 33rd. St. tonight and the building doesn't make much impact there. I would miss the 7th. Ave facade. Such is life...
    Last edited by stache; December 2nd, 2006 at 05:06 AM. Reason: Posted wrong street.

  2. #47
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    I have mix reviews on the hotel. It's facade is very nice, but it's sheer size and girth kind of negate its positives. If the tower that goes up is nice looking (doubful) i wouldnt mind it.

  3. #48

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    Vornado's not wasting time....
    (Bloomberg news)

    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.''

  4. #49

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    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. 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.
    This is all very interesting news. The rendering of the tower posted earlier is for a tower of only 1.3 msf of space. The new plan (at 2.5msf) it double the size of that! And with a completion date of 2011, it seems they want to rival Silvertein's towers 2 and 3 at the WTC site. All would be about the same size and include trading floors:

    Tower 2
    2.5 msf
    78-stories
    1,254 ft + 85 ft


    Tower 3
    2.5 msf
    71-stories
    1,155 ft + 100 ft

    Very interesting indeed!

  5. #50

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    It's a shame to lose the Hotel Penn. The hotel is a flea bag, but it's a very nice building from the exterior.

    Hopefully, the loss will be compensated by the construction of a magnificent 1,000 foot plus tower.
    Last edited by londonlawyer; January 4th, 2007 at 06:50 PM.

  6. #51
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Hopefully they will add another subway entrance at 33rd. St. The pedestrian traffic there is pretty full already.

  7. #52

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    This hotel, on the outside at least would be the crown jewel of many smaller American cities, but this is New York, and this is not a big loss considering the replacement. This tower is going to be huge....I would certainly expect close to 1,000 feet, if not higher.

    An opening in 2011 is next to impossible if demolition does not start this year. Any word on a closing date for the hotel?

  8. #53
    The Dude Abides
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    The Hotel Penn is disgusting on the inside. Worthy of the wrecking ball, especially considering what's at stake.

    Bring this baby up to 1200/1300, and it'll be a twin to ESB. I'm thinking a well-massed post-Modern tower, with some creative setbacks, could be awesome.

  9. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfenn1117 View Post
    An opening in 2011 is next to impossible if demolition does not start this year. Any word on a closing date for the hotel?

    That would mean getting the hotel closed in months, and starting demolition work immediately. But not impossible if they are really serious about getting it built quickly. It seems more of a target date set to compete with the WTC towers and get a jump on whatever Brookfield plans to build on its 8th Ave site. Also, it seems that whatever retail was planned there will move over to the MSG site.

  10. #55
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    If they want to have a new building ready by 2011 then they'd best get moving ...

    I'd think it would take a year to bring down the Penn Hotel.

    NY Times Tower and B of A have each taken 3+ years, with much simpler demolition involved ...

    NY Times site Demo started on 1.22.2004; Foundation work continued through 4.03.2005; Steel started to rise above street level around 5.14.2005

    B of A site Demo started in May 2004; Foundation work was going full tilt by March 2005 and continued through Summer 2005 with cranes going in at the end of August 2005; Steel started to rise above street level there at the beginning of October 2005

  11. #56

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    ^And the Times and B of A sites didn't have a pair of 100-year-old railroad tunnels (Amtrak and LIRR) not far below the surface to contend with.

  12. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by pianoman11686 View Post
    Bring this baby up to 1200/1300, and it'll be a twin to ESB. I'm thinking a well-massed post-Modern tower, with some creative setbacks, could be awesome.
    I would like some creative setbacks. Throw away the t-square for once. This potential supertall combined with one or two replacing MSG and this forms an incredible cluster, rivaled only by the WTC.

  13. #58

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    This version was 2.3 msf., 64 stories.

  14. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by ManhattanKnight View Post
    ^And the Times and B of A sites didn't have a pair of 100-year-old railroad tunnels (Amtrak and LIRR) not far below the surface to contend with.

    But that doesn't necessarily mean it would take as long on the Penn Hotel site. I guess we have become so accustomed to seeing things take forever in NY that we come to expect it. Given an extra year for demolition, it would still open at around the time the WTC towers would (2012), which seems to be the point.
    Last edited by NYguy; January 4th, 2007 at 08:34 PM.

  15. #60

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post

    This version was 2.3 msf..
    I like how that version fronts on 7th, as opposed to the version that was midblock. Now add 5 trading floors, a better design, and you get a new tower!

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