Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yahoo Answers

This popped into my e-mail today:

15 hours ago ... I just recently discovered a new building will be built in Midtown Manhattan known as 15 Penn Plaza. I don't know much about this new proposed building. ...

I had to put my two cents in.


I was looking through the archive on the internet, and came across some old posts, back in the day when I started this whole project.  Seems like only yesterday I started this whole thing up.

Yep definitely been a long hard road.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Vornado considers renovating Hotel Pennsylvania instead of erecting massive skyscraper

I came across two very interesting articles today, that I really hope happen.


Vornado considers renovating Hotel Pennsylvania instead of erecting massive skyscraper

December 14, 2011 09:00AM alternate
From left: Vornado Chairman Steven Roth, a rendering of the 15 Penn Plaza skyscraper and Hotel Pennsylvania
Vornado Realty Trust has put off constructing a massive skyscraper that would challenge the Empire State Building's height at 15 Penn Plaza, sources told the New York Post, and might even pour millions into renovating the hotel that currently occupies the site.

With market rents still hovering below the rates necessary to make office development profitable and the financial firms that would make sensible anchors cutting operations instead of expanding, Vornado has decided to hold off on the development. Further clouding the project's future is the competition rising just west of 15 Penn Plaza, where both the Related Companies and Brookfield Office Properties are preparing to begin construction on Hudson Yards and Manhattan West, respectively.

As a result, Vornado is mulling a complete renovation of the Hotel Pennsylvania that currently resides on the site, along Seventh Avenue between 32nd and 33rd streets. One real state executive said it could cost $30 million just to renovate the hotel's 1,000 rooms, and millions more to update the lobby and common areas. 

Time-out seen in skyline war

Updated: Wed., Dec. 14, 2011, 3:05 AM home

Time-out seen in skyline war

Last Updated: 3:05 AM, December 14, 2011
Posted: 11:51 PM, December 13, 2011
The Empire State Building just might keep the 34th Street skyline to itself for a few more years.
Sources tell us that Vornado Realty Trust is putting off constructing its taller challenger to the west at 15 Penn Plaza until market rents reach a point where it’s worthwhile to redevelop the site with an office building.
In the meantime, Vornado is mulling plowing millions of dollars into renovating its Hotel Pennsylvania, a dowdy cash cow that now sits on the future development site at Seventh Avenue between West 32nd and 33rd streets, across from Penn Station and Madison Square Garden.
“It could cost $30 million just to renovate the rooms,” said one executive who was not authorized to speak on the record. “It’s 1,000 rooms and everything adds up.”
Vornado would also commit millions of dollars more to update the lobby and common areas.
In December 2007, Vornado was days away from signing a lease that would enable it to develop a new tower and trading floors for Merrill Lynch when the Wall Street firm switched CEOs and gears amid its deepening financial crisis.
Since then, financial firms that would be the natural anchor tenants have found themselves cutting headcount and putting off major moves until the global economy improves.
Vornado is also facing increased competition for anchor tenants as Brookfield readies its $5 billion, four-tower 5.4 million-square-foot Manhattan West site on Ninth Avenue and Related Cos. gets traction on the West Side with Coach becoming the first tenant/owner for the first Hudson Yards tower.
Downtown also continues to be redeveloped with four World Trade Center towers and availabilities in Brookfield’s World Financial Center, along with Edward J. Minskoff’s redevelopment of 101 Ave. of the Americas, as Post colleague Steve Cuozzo reported yesterday, and his spec building at 10 Astor Place. There is also ready-to-go space in 11 Times Square.
TJ Maxx is coming to the Fulton Mall in downtown Brooklyn. The fashionista’s favorite retailer will move into about 23,000 square feet on the lower level of the mall at 505 Fulton St. by spring 2013. The former department store is owned by and is being repositioned by the Laboz family of United American Land.
The family also owns the neighboring 497 Fulton where H&M will open next year.
Peter Ripka of Ripco Real Estate represented both sides in the TJ Maxx deal that had an asking rent of a modest $40 a foot — at least by Manhattan standards.
Family head, Albert Laboz, is chairman of the Fulton Mall Improvement Association, and United American Land was recently selected by the city to redevelop the ground floor of the Brooklyn Municipal Building into retail.
Renzo Gracie Academy has just leased an industrial building at 100 Bayard St. in Williamsburg, where it will create a 14,000-square-foot all-encompassing gym and training facility.
“This is a nice modern warehouse, and they will put some money in it and it will become a training center,” said Josh Segal of Sholom & Zuckerbrot, who represented the building along with colleague, Larry Smith.
Joseph Katz, a partner in the venture, says the facility will include all kinds of athletic training. Along with Brazilian-style martial arts, there will be areas for “regular” gym equipment, boxing and other athletic training. “You won’t have to join separate gyms,” Katz said.
The former garment factory had an asking rent of about $22 a foot, with the tenant paying the real estate taxes directly to the city.
“I had a lot of activity on the building and most of the prospective tenants were gym or health club or yoga related,” added Segal.
HFP Capital Markets, a division of Hudson Financial Partners, will be moving in two stages to the entire eighth floor of 13,100 square feet at 386 Park Avenue South. The company is currently in 12,000 square feet at 685 Fifth Ave.
The first move early next year will be to an 8,600-square-foot pre-built suite that was designed by the Spector Group. The office has eight-foot wooden doors, oversized energy-efficient windows, a new reception area and a glass-front conference room. Later, when construction is completed, the company will expand to the entire floor, which already has a new elevator corridor.
HFP was represented by John P. Moran III, Hope Brodsky and Neil Goldmacher of Newmark Knight Frank. Jordan Berger represented the Savanna and Monday Properties ownership.
An entity controlled by Howard Lorber has sold the operating lease for the Renoir House, a 15-story apartment building with 150 units, at 225 E. 63rd St. for $44.5 million to San Francisco-based Carmel partners. Neither company returned calls.
According to city documents, the original 55-page 1966 ground lease with Sol Goldman provides for a series of 21-year options, with the last lease ending April 14, 2189 and annual rent of $142,200 per year.
The owners of the Keg Room, an Irish pub that has already surrounded Manhattan with several locations, have signed a 20-year lease at 53 W. 36th St. The asking rent for the 8,400 square foot spread was $70 a foot.
Edward Reilly of Reilly Real Estate brought the tenants to the changing neighborhood while Steven Hidary of Hidrock Realty represented the ownership in-house.
The space was previously occupied by three “underperforming” retailers and is now being completely reconfigured by Hidrock along with the restaurant owners, Joe and Mary Carty.
The former Chung King rap studio will get Relevent instead. The experiential ad agency and viral event marketing firm Relevent Group, is moving to the 10,095 square feet on the top, 12th floor of 10 Hudson Square. The asking rent was in the $40s per foot.
David Horowitz of Studley represented the tenant, which is a division of MDC Partners. MDC has four other companies in the building: Attention; Kwittken; Vitro; and Kirschenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, the largest tenant, with 111,288 square feet of the 350,000-square-foot building.
The building owner, Trinity, had an asking rent of $40 a foot and was represented in-house by Tom Lynch.
Relevent will move next year from space a third of the size at 27 W. 24th St. in the Flatiron District.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

15 Penn Plaza to be complete in 2014

Business Insider, published an article yesterday concerning the 15 Penn Plaza.  You can read it here, but the long and short of it, the project is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Friday, November 4, 2011

3rd Quarter Results for Vornado.

3Q numbers for Vornado are out.  The old girl was able to squeak by with a modest profit of $9,773,000 up from $8,080,000 last year at this time.  Impressive numbers, but as always it just means more money in Vornado's pocket an not a dime of it going to help improve the poor girl.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Where is my closest landmark?

Want to find out what is and what isn't a landmark in your area of NYC?  Use this interactive map.  You will be surprised at some of the results.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

135 Bowery

We received this letter from the HDC on the 15th.  It shows you the lack of interest in preservation by the NYC Govt.

This afternoon,  the City Council Subcommittee on Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Usage voted 4 (Halloran, Lander, Sanders, Williams) to 1 (Mendes) to deny the Landmark designation of the Hardenbrook Somarindyck House at 135 Bowery. The designation was opposed by the building’s owner, First American International Bank, who found a strong advocate in local Council member Margaret Chin. CM Chin, who has a good record on preservation issues and has worked closely with community preservationists, changed her initial support of preserving the building after learning more about the building’s condition from the owners  and their plans to develop below-market-rate commercial rental space on the site. “"I just hope that the advocates will see my point of view on this," Chin said at the hearing (as reported by WNYC). "And that we will have opportunity to continue to work to preserve the historic character of Bowery. But on this building we will have to differ." It is almost inevitable that the full City Council will vote to deny this landmark designation next Wednesday.

HDC was the first to testify in favor of the designation at the hearing and our testimony is below. As part of our testimony, we submitted 49 letters we received as emails from you – our friends and readers – in response to our alert earlier this week. At the hearing, we were joined by over 25 Bowery residents and enthusiasts who gave incredibly  intelligent, passionate, articulate and heart-felt testimony. We are incredibly proud to be part of such as strong community.

 It was mentioned more than once by council members that their action was reflective of a broader view of the community and it was their responsibility to take the bigger picture into account. What was not evident from the hearing was any indication that the decision to be made was any more than helping a bank with a development rather than supporting a popular governmental decision. HDC is very disappointed in this decision.

Simeon Bankoff
Executive Director
Historic Districts Council
232 East 11th Street
New York, NY 10003

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hotel Pennsylvania 2nd Q reports

Second quarter reports are out for Vornado, looks like the Hotel Pennsylvania made $8.677 M for the past 3 months.  Up from last year at this time from $6.616 M.  These are great improvements, and shows the the Hotel is on its was back to being profitable for Vornado.  The whole report can be seen here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Message to the Chair, Landmarks Preservation Commission

If you would like to send Mr. Robert Tierney a message about the LPC decision of the Hotel Pennsylvania, and the Cafe Rouge, now is your chance!  Be sure to let him know how you feel.

LPC response letters for the Cafe Rouge

We finally got a copy of the LPC response letters regarding the Cafe Rouge proposed landmark status.   Thanks to Steven Lepore for getting this for us and being brave enough to submit the applications.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hotel Pennsylvania 1st Q reports

Vornado announced their first quarter reports today, for the period ending March 31, 2011. Although the Hotel Pennsylvania showed an improvement from last year at this time, they are still down. The Hotel lost $68,000 this quarter, which is an improvement from last year at this times, loss of $447,000.

Vornado the parent company and current owner of the Hotel Pennsylvania, did not invest any money this past quarter in improvements to the building.

Currently the hotel property size is 1,400,000 SqF with a retail portion of 188,000 SqF.

The full report can be read off of the SCC website here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Land's End - Gatsby Mansion Torn Down

Yet another historic building gone for good. When will people learn that history must be saved not destroyed?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

2012 HOPE Conference

2600 has announced that they will be holding the HOPE conference in 2012 at the Hotel Pennsylvania, we can only assume that this is a good thing. We will continue to keep you posted on the status of the 2012 HOPE Conference.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Gimbels Passageway

A recent NY Times article about the current Vornado situation with 15 Penn Plaza, (a.k.a. Hotel Pennsylvania) state, that before construction can begin on the 15 Penn Plaza office, "transit improvements must be designed and agreed upon before the city will grant Vornado building permits."  Check out the link for more information.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gimbels Passageway Simulator

A clockwork disc simulator for designing movements to appear in the hall of Gimbels Passageway in New York City.

Ear Studio was commissioned by Vornado Realty Trust to design a public art element for the Gimbels Passageway renovation; the underground pedestrian tunnel connecting Penn Station to Herald Square closed in the 1970s.

This simulator, built with Processing and OpenGL, allows Ear Studio to experiment with the choreography of approximately 900 rotating discs and the invisible gearing system that couples them. The simulator exports this choreographic data for use by the team's 3D fly-through mockup designers and will also inform the data driving the final piece.  The video can be found here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Happy 92nd Birthday!

Today Hotel Pennsylvania Celebrates it's 92nd Birthday. 92 years of history forever embedded in those walls. If walls could talk what would they say? Well, today they'd say "Congratulations Ol' Girl!" Here's to 92 more years!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Getting a Lawyer

Does anyone have any lawyers they know that could assist us in pressing charges against Vornado or is anyone interested in helping?