Alex Ohebshalom’s Empire Management may finally be moving forward with plans to convert a McKim Mead & White-designed bank building at 250 Fifth Avenue and construct a 21-story hotel-tower behind. The project is the latest to join Nomad’s recent hotel boom that has produced the Ace Hotel, Nomad Hotel, Flatiron Hotel, and the upcoming Virgin Hotel. While building permits filed in July have yet to be approved, the existing six-story building recently cleared out its retail tenants, and its upper office floors now appear empty.
Since the site lies within the Madison Square North Historic District, the owners, under the LLC Quartz Associates, had to secure approvals from both Community Board 5 and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. With a proven track-record of steering projects in historically sensitive areas towards approval, architects Platt Byard Dovell White were commissioned. PBDW uncovered that a mid-rise loft building was once proposed for the site and this evidence allowed for LPC to more seriously consider a taller addition to the 1907, palazzo-like building designed for Second National Bank.