Saturday, December 6, 2014

38-Story Virgin Hotel to Rise at 29th St and Broadway

One of the city's most prolific hotel developers, John Lam, aims to break ground on a $300 million Virgin Hotel that will stretch along Broadway from West 29th to West 30th streets. The 440,000-square-foot hotel, designed by VOA Associates, will have 460 hotel rooms, with 80,000 square feet of retail space spread over five floors. 

Billionaire Richard Branson's first U.S. hotel will be a 38-story glass structure located on the northwest corner of West 29th Street at 1205-1225 Broadway, and stretching along the block front from 29th to 30th Street.

The 440,000-square-foot building will feature 460 hotel rooms — including two duplexes on the 34th and 35th floors –and 80,000-square-feet of retail space.

There will also be three restaurants and a banquet room. One of the restaurants will have access to a 12,000-square-foot outdoor space on the fourth floor.

The retail portion of the project will be the largest new store space in the neighborhood.

According to plans revealed by the developer, the retail breakdown is as follows: 24,753 square feet on the lower level, 18,163 square feet on the ground floor, 19,153 square feet on the second floor and 8,709 square feet of interior space for food and beverage service on the third floor.

Also on three, there will be two terraces totaling 8,833 square feet with unobstructed views of the Empire State Building.

The Lam Group paid nearly $88 million in 2011 and 2012 to acquire three properties fronting the entire block of Broadway between 30th and 29th Streets across from the popular Ace Hotel.

"The neighborhood is very exciting," Mr. Lam said, referring to the once gritty area north of Madison Square Park that in recent years has begun to blossom with the arrival of a number of trendy hotel and nightlife venues, including the Ace Hotel and the NoMad.

In terms of design, The Virgin Hotel will be the polar opposite of the Nomad and the Ace, that is, shamelessly modern. 

The Virgin is just one of several hotels going up in the area –a 21-story hotel is rising at 32 West 29th Street, as well as a Thompson Hotel at 11 East 31st Street.

Mr. Lam is familiar with the neighborhood. In recent years he developed a successful Four Points Hotel at 160 W. 25th Street, an affordable hotel brand operated by Sheraton.

Lam Group received approval to demolish the existing buildings on the site and demolition is expected early next year.

Construction of the hotel is slated to begin in mid-2015. The Virgin Hotel is expected to open in 2016.

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