In a town overrun with fancy hotels, the Algonquin–which turns 112 tomorrow–has true staying power, proving that history and heritage are every bit as important as plush bedding and sweet-smelling bath products.
Designed by Goldwin Starrett in a Renaissance limestone and red brick façade, the 12-story Algonquin Hotel, at 42 West 42nd Street, opened on November 22, 1902, initially operating as an apartment hotel with year-long leases but switching to a hotel after the owner failed to find enough renters. Today, the Algonquin–both a literary landmark and a New York City Historic Landmark–remains one of New York’s most cherished institutions, drawing a mix of artists, tourists and cultural elites.
Read the full history of the storied Algonquin
Photo courtesy of Airbnb via Facebook.
Controversial room-sharing startup Airbnb, one of the most visible players in what is being called the “sharing economy,” has recently awakened the innovation vs. regulation argument in all the usual ways–and a few new ones, including the accusation that these short-term rentals are depleting the already-scarce affordable housing stock in pricey metro areas like San Francisco and New York City.
What the latest data reveals–and what’s being done about it
Get ready for another blockbuster sale. Following in the footsteps of Hilton who just sold off the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to Chinese Insurance Company Anbang for $1.95 billion, Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs have put their prized Gramercy Park Hotel on the market. Crain‘s reports that the 186-room, 18-story hotel located at 2 Lexington Avenue could sell for an impressive $260 million.
The hotel was renovated back in 2006 for $200 million and then encountered several bumps during the recession which led its owners to default on a mortgage loan—and the eventual restructuring of debt after buying then-partner Ian Schrager’s share in the property. Now, Rosen and Fuchs are banking on the strength of the Manhattan hotel market, which has historically seen a discount when it comes to Downtown properties. If the hotel is to sell at more than its valued $260 million, on a per-room basis, it will garner a trading price greater than higher than the $1.4 million per suite seen in the Waldorf deal.
According to Crain’s, the owners are also considering other options like refinancing of the hotel or selling off just a percentage of ownership. Eastdil Secured is marketing the building to potential investors.
It’s where the Waldorf salad was invented; it was the first hotel to offer room service; and it has its own railway platform to Grand Central, large enough to fit FDR’s car. The historic tidbits about the Waldorf Astoria are plenty, but now the world-famous hotel is making big changes to its future.
Hilton Worldwide Holdings, who has officially owned the Art Deco landmark since 1972, has agreed to sell the 1,232-room hotel to the Anbang Insurance Group Co., a financial and insurance company based in Beijing, for $1.95 billion. Hilton, the world’s largest publicly traded hotel operator, will continue to manage the property under a “strategic partnership.”
More on the plans here
, Wed, September 24, 2014
Last month, pricing and exterior renderings were released for the much-anticipated Beekman Hotel and Condo conversion project. The long-shuttered historic structure (originally known as the Temple Court Building) will be topped off with a 51-story condominium tower adjacent to the 1883-built landmark and its famous atrium. It will contain 68 residential units designed by Thomas Juul-Hansen. The building’s lower levels will house 287 hotel rooms.
Now, Curbed has received the first reveal of the interior renderings, and they do not disappoint. From the modern apartments with Woolworth Building views to the luxe amenity areas, the rooms at 5 Beekman Street exude luxury and prestige. One of the most impressive interior shots is of the atrium, which extends through all nine stories of the original Terra Cotta structure and is topped off by a large, pyramidal skylight. It will be a lounge by Tom Colicchio known as the Living Room, the centerpiece of the hotel and a fine dining spot for residents and guests alike.
Tour the rest of the conversion, from the atrium to the roof terrace
Williamsburg’s upcoming Level Hotel is right on track for its 2016 opening as construction continues moves full speed ahead at 55 Wythe Avenue. Back in July, architects Yohay Albo and Nick Liberis of Albo Liberis LLC were revealed as the brains behind the building’s ultra modern form, and it’s just been announced that Gunn Landscape Architecture will be taking charge of the expansive rooftop escape that will sit atop the retail pod of the futuristic hotel.
A look at the rooftop design here
Back in June, we took a look at the winning designs for Prodigy Network’s 17John ‘Cotel’ (collaborative + hotel = cotel), the city’s first crowdsourced hotel and the world’s first collaborative hotel. Now, the real estate crowdfunding startup has closed on the 15-story rental building at 17 John Street for $85.3 million, $25 million of which came from crowdfunded equity. Additional financing came from Deutsche Bank and another institutional investor. The property will be transformed into a 23-story, 191-unit extended-stay hotel, designed for the next generation of business traveler.
More on the first-of-its-kind project in NYC
There’s so much talk these days about the happenings up in Beacon, New York, from the Dia:Beacon, undoubtedly the area’s biggest attraction, to the locally sourced restaurants lining the Hudson. And if you’re hoping to make this upstate getaway longer than just a day trip, the Roundhouse at Beacon Falls can accommodate much more than just your overnight stay.
Aryeh Siegel, unofficial “architect of Beacon,” was enlisted by developer Robert A. McAlpine to restore and adaptively resue the buildings on this 9-acre, 19th century industrial site located on the Fishkill Creek. They were transformed into a complex including a hotel, restaurant, and event space. Historically appropriate, modern private residences were added, and the former power house is being reconstructed to provide hydro-electric power, which will account for 60% of the hotel’s energy. The Rockwell Group outfitted the hotel and restaurant interiors with a contemporary yet rustic design esthetic, incorporating pieces from local artisans.
Take a tour through this gorgeous getaway
Who wouldn’t want to be able to order a juicy burger in the middle of the night and have it delivered in mere minutes? Or never have to worry about making the bed or folding sheets ever again (does anyone know how to fold the fitted sheet properly)? How about having an on-call masseuse? This is the life of living in a condo hotel.
Today, the city is teeming with these luxurious hybrids. The Residences at the Ritz Carlton in Battery Park City are home to the city’s most expensive listing at $118 million. The landmark Plaza Hotel was partially converted to 181 residences in 2008. And let’s not forget One57, the 90-story, 52-condo tower that will be the first five-star luxury hotel to rise in New York City in the last ten years. But do the vacation-worthy amenities at these buildings make them dominant in the real estate market?
We take a closer look
Summer is in full swing, and while some of us get to plan far flung escapes, others must endure the heat amidst the concrete towers. Rooftop oases are a great way to beat rising temps, especially when the foliage of a hidden garden can cool us naturally.
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite lush rooftop havens around the city, all sure to help soothe your soul when a trip away from city life just isn’t in the cards. From an ultra verdant “secret garden” to a rooftop escape with the Empire State Building in view, check out these these five urban retreats offering an elevated experience.
Five wonderful lush rooftop escapes here