Last week, YIMBY featured a terrible new hotel coming to 525 Eighth Avenue, off the northwest corner of 34th Street and Eighth Avenue. A few blocks to the north and west, on the southwest corner of Ninth Avenue and 42nd Street, another architectural atrocity is getting ready to open its doors, at 577 Ninth Avenue, and Tectonic has the latest photos of progress.
Sidewalk fencing is mostly down and exterior work on the project appears just about entirely complete. The architect of record is SLCE, and the tower stands 28 floors and 300 feet to its rooftop, with the bulkhead boosting the apparent height to 363 feet. Within, there will be 665 “pod” hotel rooms above 25,000 square feet of retail space on the cellar, first, and second floors.
As a “pod” hotel, the design is not expected to rival starchitecture like 53 West 53rd Street, but this corner of Midtown is particularly prone to horrible design. Indeed, 577 Ninth Avenue stands adjacent to the Zebra Building at 420 West 42nd Street, which is perhaps the ugliest tall building in all of the West 40s.
While the Zebra Building’s stripes make its blandness a secondary offense, the pod hotel is a direct ode to the architectural brutality of cities like Pyongyang. The exterior musters several muddled shades of grey between windows that, if just a bit larger, would brighten the tower substantially.
The podium-style retail of the project is an additional offense to the streetscape of Ninth Avenue, which is already somewhat bleak in the immediate vicinity due to the encroachment of Port Authority onramps.
BD Hotels will run the pods, while the site is being developed by Friedman Group and Landis Group. Opening is imminent.