Over the past 200 years, Broadway was the center stage for many that came to make their fortunes in the big city. Foundations for the world’s second Virgin Hotel, part of billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, are underway at 1205, 1225, and 1227 Broadway, between West 29th and West 30th streets. The site’s relevance in the city’s history is rooted deeper than the new skyscraper’s supports. Before it housed the three 1920s office and retail buildings that graced the site until 2015, the block was home to a prominent theater row, a theater-museum built by John Banvard, once the world’s richest and most famous artist, and a number of other ventures worthy of remembrance and commemoration, undertaken by the gritty and relentlessly driven people that give New York its signature flair and energy.
A block a little north of Madison Square Park is on its way to a major transformation, thanks to action by the Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday. The block in question is between Fifth Avenue and Broadway, on West 29th Street and part of West 30th Street.
Fortuna Realty Group has filed permits to demolish the four five-story commercial buildings spanning 24-30 West 39th Street, in Midtown South. The hotel developer acquired 24-28 West 39th Street for $18.3 million in 2014, DNAinfo reports, although it has not yet officially acquired 30 West 39th Street. Plans for the site have not been disclosed, but the assemblage could accommodate up to 86,620 square feet of commercial space. That means a hotel, office building, or a community-facility-based project could eventually be built. A few tenants must first vacate the premises before the building can be demolished.
The May 1 celebration of Eastern Orthodox Easter was marred by the tragic fire at the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava at 15 West 25th Street, which reduced the landmark building to a charred stone shell. Aside from minor smoke inhalation by the church caretaker, no one was injured in the four-alarm blaze. The same cannot be said for the church building itself, which was reduced to a charred ruin.
Permits were filed Thursday for a 40-story-tall, 164-key hotel at 1185 Broadway, at the northwest corner of West 28th Street, in NoMad/Midtown South. The site’s single-story commercial building, with six businesses, was demolished in 2015, and this will be a big change for the property.