At a public hearing yesterday the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a plan drawn up by Platt Byard Dovell White Architects (PBDW) for Maefield Development to raise the historic 1913 Palace Theater 29 feet in order to accommodate expanded facilities and new retail space underneath. The decision isn’t sitting well with preservationists, but the exterior of the theater was replaced in the early 1990s to make way for the 45-story adjacent DoubleTree hotel, and as the Wall Street Journal reports, the actual theater space is an interior landmark and the $2 billion redevelopment project will restore the decorated interior and add 10,000 square feet of theater facilities.
Platt Byard Dovell White
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.
Earlier this week, the five-star Marriott EDITION hotel, slated to tower over Duffy Square, broke ground. The 39-story, 517-foot tall building is being developed by a partnership between the Witkoff Group, Howard Lorber’s New Valley LLC, Winthrop Realty Trust, and Maefield Development. Going by the invented address of 20 Times Square (701 Seventh Avenue), the 370,000-square-foot tower will be the first hotel to rise directly along the Square’s “bow-tie” area since Gary Barnett opened the W Times Square in 2000.
Taking full advantage of its coveted, highly-trafficked location, the project will contain 76,000 square feet of retail and food and beverage space, as well as an outdoor roof terrace. Its six-story podium anchors the northeast corner of 47th Street and Seventh Avenue and will be wrapped by a 120-foot-tall, 18,000-square-foot LED display, which according to the Witkoff Group, “will be one of the largest and most technologically advanced in the world today.”