Revealed: 324 West 44th Street, a Gene Kaufman-Designed Hotel

324 West 44th Street, rendering by Gene Kaufman Architect324 West 44th Street, rendering by Gene Kaufman Architect

Hotel developer Sam Chang of McSam Hotel Group has just broken ground on a 114-key hotel at 324 West 44th Street, and YIMBY has a first look at the development, which will be a Marriott TownPlace Suites.

Designed by none other than Gene Kaufman, the monochromatic building will rise seven stories on a through-block lot from 44th to 43rd Streets between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. The 44,500-square-foot development will have two wings connected by a landscaped courtyard, but one will be narrower than the other because the property is irregularly shaped.

The lot is 50 feet wide on 44th Street, but only 25 feet wide on 43rd, making it hard for the architect to max out the property’s development rights. Since the property is located in the Special Clinton District, new buildings are capped at seven stories, further limiting the options for massing and setbacks.

However, the design is surprisingly interesting for a Gene Kaufman-designed hotel in Midtown West. Gray concrete strips will criss-cross nine sets of oversized windows and the ground floor.

The Marriott will vie for customers with the huge Intercontinental Hotel next door, but the demand for hotel rooms in Times Square isn’t likely to wane anytime soon.

McSam partnered with M&R Hotel Group to lease the lot for $775,000 last year, the Commercial Observer reported in November. Manhattan Parking Group currently owns the 8,400-square-foot plot, and they bought it for $6,798,935 in 2007.

Several other Sam Chang hotels are already under construction in the heavily trafficked area near Port Authority, including 337 West 36th Street and 350 West 40th Street, in addition to a huge, yet-to-be-filed project at 345-353 West 38th Street.

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