Friday, November 15, 2013

Super Tall Hotel-Condo Slated for 610 Lexington Ave

Equipment is on-site at 53rd and Lexington to begin excavation for a new 712-foot glassy tower slated to rise behind the Seagram Building.  The vacant lot at 610 Lexington Avenue was once destined to hold New York's first Shangri-La hotel, but the recession put a hold on the plans. Now, six years after it was first proposed, it looks like Midtown is going to get a tower after all.

RFR Realty recently secured a $70 million bridge loan from the Union League Life Insurance Co. to begin construction at the long-vacant lot that it owns on the corner of East 53rd Street.

SLCE Architects, whose past projects include the Bloomberg building at 731 Lexington, and the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center, have released renderings of the glassy 65-story structure planned for the southwest corner.

Typical hotel amenities, like a bar, restaurant, pool, fitness room, spa, and business lounge are expected.

The hotel's common spaces and rooms will span from a ground-level lobby up to the 52nd floor, and above that will be apartments - with just two per level - up to the 63rd floor.

Oddly, there is no indication of a luxury penthouse at this time.

Presuming the transfer of unused air rights from nearby properties, the new tower could contain approximately 350,000 square feet.

RFR Realty had planned to build a 60-story hotel tower to be operated by the ultra-luxury brand Shangri-La at 610 Lexington Ave. Under the proposal, the Shangri-La would have contained 200,000 square feet of space.

That plan fell through during the economic downturn and the developer had to scramble to hold onto the property, ultimately arranging a deal with lenders

It isn't clear when RFR Realty, which owns a collection of well-known buildings in the city, including the Seagram Building on the western side of the same block and Lever House across Park Avenue, plans to begin construction on the long-stalled project.

The developer has yet to announce which chain will operate the new hotel.

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