New York Grand Hyatt, Trump's first big project, faces demolition

Published Thu, Feb 7, 2019 · 11:57 PM
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[NEW YORK] A New York developer and a partner plan to demolish the Grand Hyatt New York, the hotel that launched US President Donald Trump's real estate career in Manhattan decades ago, the two companies said on Thursday.

Developer TF Cornerstone and MSD Partners, which manages the assets of Dell Technologies founder Michael Dell and his family, said they would develop two million square feet (186,000 square metres) of office and retail space and a new luxury Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The redevelopment would be in collaboration with an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corp, TF Cornerstone and MSD Partners said in a statement.

The Grand Hyatt is immediately east of the Grand Central train station on 42nd Street and was the former Commodore Hotel, a derelict stone building built in 1919 that Mr Trump gutted and re-skinned with a glass facade after its purchase in 1978.

The hotel was Mr Trump's first success in Manhattan after he started in real estate with his father, a wealthy developer in the New York City borough of Queens where the president grew up. Entering Manhattan established Mr Trump's name as a businessman and made him a source of tabloid fascination.

The new development would provide new subway entrances and enhanced connectivity to the subway system underneath Grand Central, and a significant increase in tax revenue, according to the statement.

The project marks a further step in the revitalisation of east Midtown where a 1,401 foot (427m) skyscraper, One Vanderbilt, is rising next to Grand Central on its west side, and JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to build a new headquarters nearby on Park Avenue.

State and city approval is required and construction financing must be arranged, the statement said.

The project may deter potential tenants from relocating to Hudson Yards, a district rising on Manhattan's West Side where a number of marquee companies have decided to relocate.

"This will be a draw for new office tenants and potentially lure tenants away that would have otherwise considered Hudson Yards," said Myers Mermel, chief executive and co-founder of TenantWise, a real estate research and advisory firm.

"It will re-establish Midtown East as the pre-eminent office district," he said.


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