Permits Filed: 129 West 52nd Street, Flatotel Conversion

The FlatotelThe Flatotel -- image via Google Maps

The Flatotel conversion at 129 West 52nd Street is apparently moving ahead, as permits for the change to residential have been filed. A new Schedule A indicates the tower will have 109 units, spanning floors 8 to 46, including a three-level penthouse. Lower floors will remain commercial. The property was foreclosed on back in 2011.

Residential conversions of older buildings are typical in Lower Manhattan, but the Flatotel is a relative departure for Midtown, where the trend has not taken hold — partially due to the neighborhood’s more modern office stock. Still, the existing structure was a hotel, so the renovation should be relatively simple. The property originally had 289 rooms.

The location of 129 West 52nd Street is certainly prime for office tenants, but the neighborhood is somewhat atypical for super-luxury condominiums. That is changing relatively quickly; besides the Flatotel conversion, the Jean Nouvel-designed Torre Verre is about to begin construction, and the Baccarat Tower is nearly complete.

Last year, Crain’s reported that the Flatotel sold for $180 million, and that asking prices for the new units will pass $4,000 per square foot. While that goal is certainly ambitious, it is likely achievable, given the demand for luxury condominiums in Midtown Manhattan, and the severely restricted supply. The developers are Joseph Chetrit and David Bistricer.

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