Photo via Wiki Commons
In the coming weeks, the renovation of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel will finally begin–a three-year process to convert much of the building to luxury condos. Hilton Worldwide Holdings, who had owned the landmark since 1972, agreed in 2014 to sell the 1,413-room hotel to Beijing-based financial and insurance company Anbang Insurance Group for $1.95 billion. Since then, the interior was landmarked, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was tapped to design the project, and the building closed to begin work. Now the New York Post reports that post reno, the Waldorf will only hold 350 hotel rooms–a number that’s “at the low end of recent estimates and much smaller than the number former Waldorf owner Hilton had expected,” according to the paper.
It’s caused some tension
The Ansonia in 1904, via Wiki Commons
With the 2017 World Series kicking off today, it’s amazing to think that one of the most iconic landmarks of the Upper West Side played a crucial role in shaping the outcome of the World Series back in 1919. Back then, the Ansonia was a brand new, luxury residential hotel in Manhattan–it opened in 1904 with a grand total of 1,400 rooms and 320 suites. The lavish locale quickly became popular amongst athletes; even Babe Ruth would stay there and come to treat the entire hotel like an extension of his apartment. But in 1919, baseball players and the mafia found a match in the hotel. A small group of players, and one very powerful, moneyed mafioso, came up with a deal that would throw the results of the game pitting the Chicago White Sox against the Cincinnati Reds.
Keep reading about the illicit deal
, Fri, September 29, 2017
Rendering of TWA Hotel via MCR
MCR Development officially launched the mid-century modern TWA Lounge on the 86th floor of One World Trade Center on Thursday and provided a deeper look into plans to convert Eero Saarinen’s historic TWA flight center at JFK Airport into a hotel, event space, and dining destination (there will even be a bar in a vintage aircraft parked outside). As part of a public-private partnership between MCR and the Port Authority, the project will rehabilitate the landmarked Queens flight center by restoring the majority of its 1960s Jet Age features and adding a crescent-shaped hotel with 505 rooms flanking the original building on each side. According to MCR’s CEO Tyler Morse, construction of the hotel is on schedule; it will go vertical on Monday, top out in December, and have its curtainwall applied by January. If everything remains on schedule, the project is expected to open in 18 months.
More details and photos this way
Background image via Andrew Malone/Flickr
When it comes to the Chelsea Hotel, Ed Hamilton has seen it all. He and his wife moved to the iconic property in 1995, living among artists and musicians in a 220-square-foot, single-room-occupancy unit. The storied, artistic community nurtured inside the hotel came to an end a decade ago when the building sold for the first time and evictions followed. Since then, the property has traded hands a number of times with talks of boutique hotel development, luxury condos, or some combination of the two. Hamilton started tracking the saga at his blog Living With Legends and published a book, “Legends of the Chelsea Hotel,” in 2007.
After the book’s success, Hamilton wrote a short story collection titled “The Chintz Age: Stories of Love and Loss for a new New York.” Each piece offers a different take on New York’s “hyper gentrification,” as he calls it: a mother unable to afford her lofty East Village apartment, giving it up to a daughter she shares a strained relationship with; a book store owner who confronts his failed writing career as a landlord forces him out of now highly valuable commercial space.
Ultimately, many of the stories were inspired by the characters he met inside the Chelsea Hotel. And his tales offer a new perspective on a changing city, one that focuses on “the personal, day-to-day struggles about the people who are trying to hang onto their place in New York.” With 6sqft, he shares what it’s like writing in the under-construction Chelsea Hotel, what the Chintz Age title means, and the unchanged spots of the city he still treasures.
Photo of Trump SoHo via Trump Hotels
Trump SoHo, a $450 million, 46-story hotel condominium at 246 Spring Street, has suffered from a sharp decline in corporate event bookings and an increase in staff layoffs. Documents reviewed by WYNC show the once $700-per-night hotel now offers rooms for under $400 a night, less than most of the city’s five- and even four-star rated accommodations. Plus, managers plan on laying off 12 room attendants out of the hotel’s 80 total housekeeping staff and removing turn-down service. While last year the hotel booked 29 large corporate events between January and mid-May, this year just 11 events were booked, with fewer well-known names.
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With its value nearing $30 billion dollars, it’s hard to deny Airbnb’s influence and disruption in the American hotel industry. Since its founding in 2008, the short-term lodging company has serviced about 150 million travelers, in three million listings in more than 191 countries. And as the New York Times reported, the hotel industry has launched a plan to take action against the company’s growing market share. The plan includes a national campaign at the local, state and federal levels to counter Airbnb by lobbying politicians and attorneys general to reduce the number of Airbnb hosts and fund studies that show they do not collect hotel taxes and are not required to follow the same safety and security regulations that hotels must follow.
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Update 4/4/2017: 6sqft has been informed that Kara Mann’s design will likely not move forward because of changes with the development team. We will provide additional updates as we receive them.
While there’s no shortage of hotels to visit in New York City, some are more worthy of the trip than others, and the restored Hotel Chelsea will certainly be one of them when it reopens in 2018. The renovation of this famous hotel—known since the 1960s as a haven for artists, writers, and musicians, housing famous tenants including Bob Dylan, Stanley Kubrick, Jasper Johns, Patty Smith, Dylan Thomas and Leonard Cohen—has been in the works since 2011, with lots of drama, ultimately finding some direction following a $250M purchase by Richard Born and Ira Drukier of BD Hotels and hotelier Sean MacPherson, last year. Following the sale, the new owners announced they would redevelop the property as a hotel and condos, departing from previous plans of simply converting the structure into a high-end hotel. Now, with its re-opening just around the corner, the first few images of the glamorous new interiors designed by Kara Mann have emerged.
Proposed rendering of the Park Avenue foyer, via Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
On March 1st, the Waldorf Astoria closed its doors to the public so that its new owners, Chinese insurer Anbang (who just today backed out of an even larger project to redevelop the Kushner Companies’ 666 Fifth Avenue) can undertake a two- to three-year renovation to convert 1,413 hotel rooms into 840 renovated hotel rooms and 321 condos, as well as spiff up the public spaces. This last part was worrisome at first, but earlier this month, these iconic Art Deco interiors were designated an official city landmark, meaning Anbang will need to preserve them and receive approvals for any work from the LPC. Wasting no time, they’ve now released plans for both the interior and exterior renovations and announced that architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and renowned interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon (PYR) will “protect [the] beloved spaces and restore original features of the Waldorf not seen for decades.”
See all the renderings
New York City expected tourism from foreigners to fall after President Trump’s chaotic announcement of his first executive order in January which banned travel from seven majority-Muslim countries because it was unclear which travelers would be allowed into the country. However, as reported by Crain’s, it’s not just money-spending travelers that have avoided the Big Apple; it’s student and youth groups that are canceling trips to the city.
Learn more here
This 1960s guesthouse in upstate New York was recently transformed into a charming boutique hotel by the Brooklyn-based design firm Studio Tack. The Scribner’s Catskill Lodge boasts a modern yet rustic aesthetic, highlighting both good design and the property’s expansive mountain views. The hotel is located close to Hunter Mountain’s popular ski slopes, which are all visible from inside the cozy hotel.