44 West 63 Street (Empire Hotel)

Address: 44 West 63rd Street (40-50 West 63 Street, 1889-1895 Broadway, 69-75 Columbus Avenue)
Block No: 1115
Lot No: 57
Landmark status: No

Contact

Joseph Chetrit or William Yagoda
The Chetrit Group, LLC
404 Fifth Avenue, Fourth Floor
New York, NY 10018
(646) 230-9360

David Gilchrist, Executive Director
Project FIND
160 West 71st Street, 2F
New York, NY 10023
(212) 874-0300

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Summary of site plans and status

This site was formerly the Empire Hotel, and housed permanent tenants. The hotel was closed in 2004 and has been converted into a hotel. All of the permanent tenants, who are seniors, have been relocated to a special section of the building (a 3,000 square foot, 10-unit wing was built for this purpose).

In addition to providing permanent homes for existing tenants in the building, the owner is building ten permanent rooms on top of the Woodstock Hotel on West 43rd Street, which is affordable housing managed by Project FIND. The Empire Hotel’s owner is also providing funding to Project FIND to maintain these rooms.

The Chetrit Group, LLC has signed a certificate of non-harassment and a finalization of plans with Project FIND.

The following is quoted from CityRealty.com. The information is out-of-date, but has some interesting historic facts.

This handsome, brown-brick building commands an extremely prime site in the Lincoln Center district at the south end of Dante Park, across Columbus Avenue from the performing arts center, and looking north up Broadway.

With a two-story limestone base, this attractive 13-story hotel building was attractively upgraded in the 1990s as a hotel with a renovated lobby and it was distinguished by the…unusual retail frontage of the Iridium jazz club at the corner of Columbus Avenue.

The property was erected in 1892 and had 375 hotel rooms. It was acquired in 1999, when it was known as the Radisson Empire Hotel, by Ian Schrager in a deal that also included the Barbizon Hotel on Lexington Avenue and 63 Street. Schrager, one of the city’s more active hotel developers, eventually sold the property to the Chetrit Group that announced plans in 2005 to convert the building to 125 condominium apartments.

In 2004, Trevor Davis became a partner with the Chetrit Group on this project and also on a luxury residential tower at 400 Fifth Avenue, which was somewhat similar to one he created with Aby Rosen and and Michael Fuchs of RFR Holdings at 425 Fifth Avenue.

This building is topped by a red “Empire Hotel” neon sign that can be “read” from both the north and the south and while some signs are rare it will presumably be removed for the residential conversion. The building has an exposed rooftop watertank.

The building has a large lobby, but no balconies, no garage, and no sidewalk landscaping.

The decision to convert this hotel property to condominium apartments reflected the very, very strong condo market that resulted in numerous other hotels being similarly converted at about the same time such as the former Stanhope Hotel on Fifth Avenue at 81 Street; the former Intercontinental hotels on Central Park South and on Lexington Avenue at 48 Street; as well as parts of the famous Plaza and St. Regis Hotels on Fifth Avenue.

As of August of 2007, the hotel is open for business, and the restaurant P.J. Clarke’s at Lincoln Square is located on the first floor.

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