New life at 42nd & Sixth
August 23, 2011
There are signs of life at last for long-aborning plans to burnish the hit-and-miss south blockfront of West 42nd Street between Sixth Avenue and Broadway.
Blackstone, which owns the office tower at 1095 Sixth Ave., has finally filed demolition plans for 124 W. 42nd, the vacant five-story building it also owns.
Taking down the eyesore will make way for the retail glass box we first previewed in these pages early last year, parallel to the new public plaza between 1095 Sixth and the empty structure.
Meanwhile, two doors west, Highgate Holdings has begun test borings at the vacant lot that will become a new hotel adjacent to the landmark 1466 Broadway, the former Knickerbocker Hotel, which will be converted back to a hotel after years as a Class-B office address.
Highgate has a contract to sell the new hotel at 136 W. 42nd -- which will have between 250 and 400 rooms, depending on acquiring certain development rights and permissions -- to Diamond Rock Hospitality.
Although an earthmover was pounding away at the site yesterday, Highgate has yet to file plans for the new building. The company’s New York manager, Vijay Raina, said, “The building is still being designed, and we do not have a start date yet.”
According to Diamond Rock’s latest 10Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, it’s in contract to buy the new hotel from Highgate when it’s completed. The project is to contain at least 285 guest rooms, for which Diamond Rock would pay $128 million -- but the number could rise to 400 rooms, in which case the purchase price would swell to $178 million.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Bradley Mendelson is handling retail leasing at 1095 Sixth as well as in the new glass structure to replace 124 W. 42nd and also in the new hotel.
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