The Real Deal New York

Midtown investors in talks to build 250-room Crowne Plaza

By Mark Maurer | November 04, 2013 02:30PM

Three New York City real estate players are in talks with U.K.-based InterContinental Hotels Group to develop a 25-story, 250-room hotel in Midtown West as a Crowne Plaza, the developers told The Real Deal.

Lance Steinberg and Frank Chan, the respective president and managing member of property management firm Raber Enterprises, own an 8,145-square-foot lot at 320 West 36th Street that currently holds a two-story parking garage.

The pair, along with Flintlock Construction Services, intends to turn the space into a hotel, regardless of whether an IHG deal pans out. Flatiron-based architectural firm Stonehill & Taylor has been tapped to design. Plans have not yet been filed the Department of Buildings.

The developers plan to break ground by May and open the doors by early 2016.

“The Crowne Plaza is being rejuvenated as one of the top brands in the industry,” Steinberg said.

Right now, the sole Crowne Plaza in Manhattan is in Times Square, at 1605 Broadway between 48th and 49th streets.

“At this time, a proposed Crowne Plaza in Midtown Manhattan does not appear in our pipeline,” an IHG spokesperson said in a statement. “IHG does not comment on speculation.”

In December, two Steinberg-led LLCs, Run 178 LLC and Landmark LLC, jointly paid $33.5 million for three adjacent commercial lots, including the one at 320 West 36th that went for $20.1 million, as The Real Deal reported. Another lot was the 3,521-square-foot site at 321 West 35th Street, which Flintlock is currently building into a 22-story hotel run by the wellness-centric Even brand.

Flintlock has cranked out 23 buildings in Midtown since 2003, either serving as co-developer, contractor or both, said Stephen “Chip” Weiss, co-owner of the Midtown East-based contractor. In that span of time, most were hotels, and two others were in Downtown Brooklyn.

This month, Flintlock’s 22-story, Peter Poon-designed Courtyard by Marriott is slated to open at 135 West 30th Street.

“As long as visitor numbers keep growing, there is a demand for more hotels in that area,” Weiss told The Real Deal.

Tourists generated $55.3 billion for the city last year. In 2011, the city reached a record 90,000 hotel rooms by the end of the year, a 24 percent increase from 2006.

Flintlock said it last worked on a condominium when handling renovations for the 82,000-square-foot Robert A.M. Stern-designed 18 Gramercy Park, developed by the Zeckendorf brothers.

“It’s nice to turn the keys over to just one client,” Weiss said.