Gem developer plots new venture for Midtown hotel corridor

By Katherine Clarke | August 15, 2013 05:30PM

Gemini Real Estate Asset Management, the developer of the Gem and Jade hotels Downtown, has filed plans to build a 19-story Fashion District hotel at 36 West 38th Street, according to Department of Buildings records.

Gemini, a commercial investor and developer, filed the plans, which call for a 43,342-square-foot property with 114 rooms, at the end of July, the data show.

William Obeid, the president of Gemini, was not immediately available for comment.

The site, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, is directly across the street from another prospective hotel site at 25-27 West 38th Street, which is slated to be developed by Morris Moinian’s Fortuna Realty Group. The Fortuna site will be home to a 30-story, 175-room franchised hotel, to be designed by Nobutaka Ashihara, it was previously reported.

The street will also soon be home to the Archer Hotel, a 180-room property at 45 West 38th Street featuring a restaurant operated by celebrity chef David Burke. That hotel is being developed by Kansas-based Lodge Works.

Moinian told The Real Deal Today That The Street will soon be a “great hotel corridor a stone’s throw from Fifth Avenue,” with room rates shooting up in excess of $300 per night.

Gemini purchased the hotel site for $13.5 million in January from Shimshon Klugman’s Quality Capital and Shifra Hager’s Cornell Realty Management. The sellers had bought it just six months before for $6.63 million.

Klugman and Hager also sold Moinian his site, for $11.83 million, in December 2012.

Gemini’s hotel will likely be another to fall under its Gem Hotel umbrella, which already has locations in Midtown, Chelsea and Soho, a source familiar with the plans said.

Meanwhile, the hotel construction boom in Manhattan continues. Occupancy rates for hotels in the borough averaged around 84 percent in 2012, according to data by hospitality data firm Smith Travel Research, while average hotel rates in the New York metro area came in at $252 per night.