London hoteliers ink land lease on West 56th Street

Collection of lots is owned by the estate of Sol Goldman

TRD New York /
Feb.February 21, 2013 04:00 PM

Tim and Kit Kemp, the British husband-wife Team Behind The Crosby Street Hotel at 79 Crosby Street, have inked a deal to build another hotel in New York City, sources told The Real Deal.

Firmdale Hotels, the London-based company headed by the Kemps, has signed a land lease for West 56th Street. The site, a collection of lots owned by the estate of real estate investor Sol Goldman, can support a hotel up to 120,000 square feet, it was previously reported.

Neither Firmdale nor Goldman responded to several requests for comment.

Goldman’s estate has owned the site since 2007, when it acquired the last lot – 2,500 square feet at 20 West 56th Street – from developer Sam Chang’s McSam Group for $9.75 million. The other lots included in the site are 18 and 22 West 56th Street and 23-25 West 55th Street, which abuts the 56th Street properties. The site has 72 feet of frontage on 56th Street and 43 feet on 55th Street, sources said.

Terms of Firmdale’s land lease have not been disclosed publicly. The firm’s New York interests are being managed by Paul Underhill of hotel investment advisory firm Paul Underhill Associates, sources told TRD. Underhill declined to confirm the deal.

The Kemps brought their boutique hotel concept to Manhattan in 2009, when they opened the Crosby Street Hotel. The company owns seven London hotels, including the trendy Soho Hotel, a hot spot for Hollywood A-listers on trips across the pond.

Goldman’s estate rarely sells properties and opts for land leases instead, the sources said. In the past, the estate has partnered with mega-developers such as Gary Barnett of Extell Development.

“They are probably one of the biggest land owners in the city,” said Eastern Consolidated broker Adelaide Polsinelli, who was not involved in the deal. “They have many great, strategically positioned properties, many of which are the keys to major development sites.”

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