Dermot preps for Landmarks hearing on Battery Maritime Building

By Lauren Elkies | January 31, 2008 12:31PM

The Dermot Company will soon go before the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission with revised plans for transforming the historic Battery Maritime Building into a hotel.

Dermot and its partners, the Poulakakos restaurateur family, were sent back to the drawing board to redesign their $110 million proposed glass addition to the 1909-vintage Beaux-Arts building in Lower Manhattan, after an Oct. 23 presentation before the commission. The developers again go before the commission Feb. 12.

The commission favors an addition that is “lowered somewhat, or possibly set back from the water side,” said Elisabeth de Bourbon, director of communications for the commission, and the commission felt “the addition and the building should be better integrated.”
 
After adding four cupolas to the design, the development team secured approval of its changes this month from Community Board 1, the area advisory board.
 
Stephen Benjamin, Dermot’s principal and day-to-day manager of development projects, said plans call for adding 50,000 square feet to the four-story, 140,000-square-foot building. The addition is the equivalent of 2.5 stories, plus a half of a floor for a rooftop restaurant and bar.
 
The landmark building, which is being redeveloped by Rogers Marvel Architects, is slated to house a 140-unit, four-and-a-half-star boutique hotel with a second-floor dining area with several food service tenants and “night-time entertainment for events,” Benjamin said.
 
The marketplace, where local food purveyors would sell prepared food, would be “in a beautiful public space,” he added, which would target hotel guests and people who live and work in the neighborhood.
 
Rooms at the hotel will run about $500 a night, Benjamin said.
 
Construction, which includes restoration of the building’s interior, is expected to commence in 12 to 15 months with a 2009 completion date, he said.
 
The project is part of a wave of hotels coming to Lower Manhattan. Almost 20 new Downtown hotels are being built or planned, which will add 2,474 rooms, more than doubling the number of hotel rooms in the area, according to a report issued this week by the Downtown Alliance.