Last year, Michael Shvo and Russian billionaire Vladislav Doronin agreed to pay $500 million for 20 floors of the Crown Building at 730 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of 57th Street. Now Shvo has filed plans to convert most of the 26-story office building into condominiums and a hotel.
The Art Deco skyscraper was constructed in 1921 by August Heckscher and designed by Warren and Wetmore. The architects were forced to revise their design after the city passed the 1916 zoning code, which required towers to set back as they got taller, wedding cake-style, in order to prevent them from blocking sunlight to narrow streets. When the building opened, Architectural Forum wrote, “the silhouette of the building is perhaps as attractive as that of any in the city with the exception of the Woolworth Tower.”
SCLE is handling the conversion plans, which call for 26 condominiums on the 11th through 26th floors. A five-story penthouse will occupy the castle-like crown. The units be spread across 117,950 square feet of residential space, for a typical unit measuring an impressive 4,536 square feet.
The first three floors will be devoted to retail and a hotel lobby. Doronin plans to install a New York outpost of his luxury hotel brand, Amanresorts International, in the tower. Hotel rooms will begin on the fourth floor and continue through the ninth story, for a total of 79 rooms. The seventh floor will host a pool, spa, “treatment rooms,” and lockers, and the eighth floor will have a gym. There will be a restaurant on the ninth floor, a lounge on the 10th, and hotel offices on the 11th floor. A second restaurant will fill part of the cellar.
GPP and Wharton Properties purchased the whole building for $1.775 billion in 2015. Then they agreed to sell 290,000 square feet of the 390,000-square-foot structure to Doronin and Shvo, but the sale has not yet hit public records. In September, Shvo turned himself into the Manhattan DA’s office on charges of evading more than a million dollars in taxes for purchasing art, according to The Real Deal.