Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Abandoned City Hall Landmark to Become a New Hotel

GB Lodging has closed a deal to purchase the Temple Court building, a nine-story city landmark at 5 Beekman Street formerly owned by the Chetrit Group, for $64 million. The property will be redeveloped into a new 297-room boutique hotel with 90 residences, and will be operated by Commune Hotels & Resorts under the Thompson Hotels brand.

The building made headlines in 2010 when the Chetrit Group, which paid $61 million for the abandoned building in 2008 and planned to convert it into a 200-room hotel, got into a legal dispute with a partner, which culminated with foreclosure action taken against the property.

Temple Court, a landmarked brick and terracotta office building built in the 1880s, has been vacant for decades, with portions of the property - just a block from City Hall – inaccessible for more than 65 years. Recently it has been used for fashion industry photo shoots by Harper’s Bazaar and for the AMC television series “Rubicon,” which was canceled in 2010.

The decayed urban treasure is configured around a nine-story atrium surrounded by Victorian era railings and enclosed by a perfectly restored iron and glass skylight. The entire atrium is in incredible condition, because it has been shuttered for more than 65 years, preserving it like a mosquito in amber.

While a date has not yet been confirmed for construction to begin, the project is slated for completion in 2014.