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Hotels & Residences Bryan Park

Hotels & Residences is opening one of their first 1 Hotels in New York City’s Bryant Park, directly across from the New York Public Library on 40th Street; but what has been a “secret” are the renderings of the building which will be built on the site.

I did a little research, I was able to find a number of pictures of the exterior of the building, both before and after the “suggestions” of the NYC Landmark Preservation Commission. Fortunately it seems as though the changes have been minor, and I think add uniqueness and modernness of the building which is very fitting because one of the draws of the 1 Hotel brand takes into consideration modern thoughts such as green technology.

Here’s what I can tell are the differences in the two versions of the 1 Hotel’s renderings:

  • Rooftop mechanical shell is less obtrusive
  • The 31st floor is a completely glass – offering what could be absolutely stunning penthouse residence views
  • The 30th and 29th floors offering floor to ceiling windows (although, that could also be the case for the rest of the building – its difficult to tell from the rendering)
  • The 30th floor looks as though it could have higher ceilings than the other floors

The 1 Hotel & Residences project was originally started in 2006 by 40th Street Development, an affiliate of Ascent Real Estate Advisors of New York and was known as “The View at Bryant Park”. Starwood Capital, looking to jump start the openings of a 1 Hotel bought a minority share in the project it was changed to the 1 Hotel & Residences, yet it kept all the same features and amenities as The View. The building is designed by the architect Morris Adjmi.

Starwood Capital took the same route with this 1 Hotel as they did with the Seattle 1 Hotel & Residences. Both initially started out as a hotel/residential project with their own investors and developers, and rather than buying land, going for approvals, and designing the building – which can easily take years – Starwood joined with the developers who in turn changed the project to the 1 Hotel brand (The Seattle 1 Hotel was initially called “Second and Pine”), giving Starwood the ability to open the hotels much faster than if they had developed it from point A.

Currently the plans for the 1 Hotel & Residences at Bryant Park are a 31 story primary building containing hotel rooms up to the 18th floor, and residences from the 19th to the 31st floor, and an adjoining 5 story building containing a restaurant, spa, gym, and meeting rooms. 1 Hotel & Residences at Bryant Park’s aim to be environmentally friendly through LEED certification fits in perfectly with its location across from one of New York City’s major parks, the 1 Hotel will join the nearby Bank of America Tower which is currently under construction, that is also aiming for LEED Certification and once it is completed it will be the first skyscraper to achieve Platinum LEED Certification, the highest rating a building is able to achieve.

This is a very unique property in the middle of midtown New York City because it is currently is a parking lot – thus no need to demolish a preexisting building, and secondly, the 1 Hotel will have frontage on both 40th Street, and a small amount of frontage (approximately 20 feet) on 39th Street – two aspects which are very rare when building a new building in Manhattan today.

Ground has not been broken yet, (I have confirmed that by visiting the site two weeks ago), but I think construction will start until Spring 2008 – possibly not even until mid-2008, supposedly they have not even received full financing for the project yet. I’m sure the current state of lending industry may be slowing things down, but I’m positive that full financing will be achieved because both Starwood Capital & Ascent Real Estate Advisors are well respected, well funded companies. Currently the 1 Hotel & Residences at Bryant Park has an expected opening date of mid-2010, but I think its safe to imagine a more realistic date of late 2010 or early 2011.

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