Earlier this month, news broke that Gov. Andrew Cuomo was moving forward with plans to upgrade Pennsylvania Station, between West 31st and 33rd streets on Eighth Avenue in Midtown, and now the state has issued a Request For Proposals (RFR) for the project, dubbed the Empire Station Complex. According to Curbed NY, the document highlights plans to build a main entrance on Eight Avenue, which would entail demolishing the Theater at MSG. In addition, it would connect the station to the proposed new tracks of the Gateway Project, which includes new tunnels under the Hudson River and Amtrak’s expansion into Moynihan Train Hall (the Farley Post Office) and the connecting concourse, along with other upgrades. The renderings were created by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, although the selected team could go ahead with a different firm. Proposals are due by April 22.
On Friday, Crain’s reported on a rezoning proposal to downzone Sutton Place and institute a 260-foot height limit on new developments in the area. What wasn’t reported was the real cause behind this not-so-arbitrary figure: the leader of the East River Fifties Alliance, Alan Kersh, happens to live on the 26th floor of The Sovereign, which at 47 stories tall, is almost double the height limit its residents want to force on new buildings in the blocks to the south.
Cornell Realty Management is planning to build a four-story, 35,000 square-foot retail project at 257-263 West 34th Street, in the Garment District, according to Crain’s New York Business. According to The Real Deal, which reported on the assemblage last month, Chetrit Group and Cornell Realty acquired the three-story retail building at 261-263 West 34th Street together last March for an undisclosed amount. 259 West 34th Street was also recently acquired for $20.5 million. Chetrit and Cornell have since cut their partnership and, through a deal, have split their properties into separate ownerships. Cornell’s retail project will be clad in glass and construction is expected to begin sometime this year. A total of three small retail buildings must first be demolished.
The Ziegfeld, a 1,300-seat, single-screen movie theater at 141 West 54th Street, between Sixth and Seventh avenues in Midtown, is expected to be transformed into an event venue, according to the New York Post. The converted building, to be renamed Ziegfeld Ballroom, will offer a column-free, 10,000 square-foot ballroom, meetings rooms on a mezzanine level, and “advanced electronic facilities.” The well-known movie theater will close within the next few weeks, at which time its tenant, Cablevision, will cut operations. The conversion is expected to be complete in 2017. Fisher Brothers is the building’s leaseholder.
In March of 2015, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved alterations that would go into converting the 16-story, 235,000 square-foot office building at 485 Seventh Avenue, at the corner of West 36th Street in the Garment District, into a boutique hotel. The property, an individual landmark, was completed in 1907 as the Mills Hotel No. 3, a male-exclusive, 1,885-unit single-room occupancy residential hotel. The Lightstone Group is planning to convert the property into a 618-key MOXY Hotel by Marriott, and Commercial Observer reports $330 million in financing was secured for the project. Retail space and a restaurant will be located each on the ground and second floors. Stonehill & Taylor Architects is the architect of record.