CIM to begin work at Drake Hotel site

April 15, 2011 09:51AM

The former Drake Hotel and Harry Macklowe

CIM Group has filed an application with the Department of Buildings to begin below-ground work at the site of the former Drake Hotel on Park Avenue and 56th Street, signaling the beginnings of the building process at the long-stalled project. It’s still unclear what will rise from the site originally assembled by developer Harry Macklowe, who bought the Drake for $418 million in 2006 and demolished it. He defaulted on the debt the following year, and in 2010, Los Angeles-based CIM bought his $510 million construction loan and took over the project, agreeing to keep Macklowe involved. CIM’s application currently calls for a five-story development, but according to the Wall Street Journal, those plans could easily change, since excavation work is similar for buildings of a much larger scale, and the site’s zoning allows for a much taller structure. Earlier this year, CIM added to the Drake site with the purchase of an East 57th Street townhouse for $42.5 million. [WSJ]

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