Hospitality market improves as Manhattan welcomes new, or totally renovated, hotels

By Michael Stoler | October 27, 2009 01:58PM

There are positive signs on the horizon for the New York City hospitality market with figures showing glimmers of good news and new hotels opening.

According to Steve Hood, senior vice president of information technology at Smith Travel Research, 15 of the top 25 hotel markets saw an uptick in occupancy for the second week of October, to the overall tune of 27.4 percent. In Manhattan alone, the occupancy rate rose 5.6 percent.

In Manhattan, the average room rate decreased by 15.4 percent to $253.61. Even though the city registered a decline, the average room rate was up 27 percent from January’s $199.09 average.

Nationwide, occupancy rose 6.5 percent to 63.8 percent. The average daily rate increased 6.3 percent to $119.09 and the revenue per available room rate jumped 13.2 percent to $76.04.

With the euro at record highs and the holiday season soon upon us, expect an increase in visitors to the Big Apple. These visitors will have the option of a whole host of newly completed hotels.

Earlier this month, the new 18-story, 122-room Hotel Indigo welcomed its first guests. The hotel, at 127 West 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, is owned by Morris Moinian and Fortuna Realty Group, which oversaw the project. As reported last year, the $50 million hotel was financed by M & T Bank. The new hotel brings the InterContinental boutique brand to Chelsea.

Two new hotels are opening next month on 37th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. The first to open will be the Strand Hotel, a 20-story, 177-room hotel at 33 West 37th Street. The hotel is a development of Atlantic Stars Hotels and Cruises, the owner of the 141-room Park South Hotel located at 124 East 28th Street off Park Avenue South. Later in the month, a 92-room Fairfield Inn & Suites New York Manhattan/Fifth Avenue, at 21 West 37th Street, will open.

At least five new hotels are expected to open soon in Times Square including the 32-story, 155-room, Distrikt Hotel on 342 West 40th Street between Eighth and Ninth avenues.

On Sunday, after a $60 million investment, Denihan Hospitality Group will unveil the totally renovated Surrey Hotel at 20 East 76th Street between Madison and Fifth avenues. The hotel will have 190 guest rooms, and will include a key-accessed rooftop garden, private spa and a 4,500-square-foot presidential suite. The room service dining will be provided by Café Boulud, which is housed in the same building.

DHG was the firm behind the June opening of the $25 million renovated and repositioned 323-room Affinia Shelburne, at the site of the former Shelburne Murray Hill located at 303 Lexington Avenue.

Michael Stoler is a columnist for The Real Deal and host of real estate programs “The Stoler Report” and “Building New York” on CUNY TV and on WEGTV in East Hampton. His radio show, “The Michael Stoler Real Estate Report,” airs on 1010 WINS on Saturdays and Sundays. Stoler is a director at Madison Realty Capital as well as an adjunct professor at NYU Real Estate Institute, and a former contributing editor and columnist for the New York Sun.