Permits Filed: 308 West 40th Street, 13-Story Hotel

308 West 40th Street, image from Google Street View308 West 40th Street, image from Google Street View

Amidst the Great Dummy Permit Filing Frenzy of September 2014 comes a somewhat mysterious application for a new building in the Garment District, on a stretch of West 40th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues, right across from the southern face of the Port Authority Bus Terminal, that’s seen intense hotel development in recent years.

The 25-foot lot at 308 West 40th Street was at one point slated to get a 14-story Gene Kaufman-designed hotel, developed by Sam Chang’s McSam Group, per a permit filing back in 2008. Those plans apparently fell through though, and the land was sold in late 2012 for $1.3 million.

Plans filed today now call for a 13-story commercial structure with nearly 27,000 square feet of total construction floor space. Gene Kaufman has been swapped out for Nobutaka Ashihara, a New York-based architect who’s designed a number of hotels in Manhattan, from Midtown to the Financial District, and generally produces higher quality designs than Kaufman.

The permit indicates merely a commercial structure, without going into detail about whether it will be hotel, retail or office space. A single dwelling unit, as listed on the permit, is usually not consistent with a hotel, but we’re guessing it’s merely a dummy filing, likely submitted now so that the architect can design the building in accordance with the 2008 version of the city’s building code, and the application will be amended at a later date to include the true number of rooms. Retail seems unlikely given the height, and office rents in the Garment District are not generally high enough for office developers to outbid hotel builders for land.

The developer is Mehta & Company, a private investment firm led by Ankit Mehta, who has not returned YIMBY’s request for comment.

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