Hotel plan revived at Pooh’s old home

March 16, 2011 03:50PM

The Donnell Library site on West 53rd Street

[Updated at 10:33 p.m. with comment to The Real Deal] The aging, five-storyThe aging, five-story Donnell Library On West 53rd Street is back on track to become a hotel thanks to a new contract to develop the site by Tribeca Associates and Starwood Capital. (Note: correction appended). The partnership is planning a 260,000-square-foot, $400 million project that includes condominium units, hotel rooms and space for a new library, sources told Crain’s. Orient-Express Hotels had signed onto a similar deal in 2007, under which it agreed to buy the site from the New York Public Library for $59 million, although a spokesperson told The Real Deal “the deal is not final.” The Donnell branch, which is across from the Museum of Modern Art and is noted as the home of the original Winnie-the-Pooh doll collection, shuttered in 2008 following the deal, but Orient-Express backed out of its development plans in 2009 after the market crashed. Orient is still buying the site, however, according to a library spokesperson, and the proceeds are supposed to go towards a renovation of The Main Library On Fifth Avenue. “We are on track with receiving all the money we’re owed, and we expect to receive all $59 million,” the spokesperson said. “We are committed to ensuring a great new library at that location.” [Crain’s]