The hoteliers behind the trendy Mercer Hotel, Stanhope Hotel and Hotel Élysée are adding a residential concept to their micro-unit hotel project in Times Square.
Richard Born and Ira Drukier’s BD Hotels will lease furnished apartments at the forthcoming Pod Times Square, at 400 West 42nd Street, where hotel rooms are around 120 square feet and average $180 a night, director of development Caroline Gleser told The Real Deal.
Slated to open in early 2017, the 665-room hotel will have 48 one- and two-bedroom apartments – dubbed Pod Pads – on the 23rd through 27th floors. The developer has not yet priced the units, which will be larger than its hotel rooms at 400 square feet to 800 square feet. The apartments can be rented for a minimum of a month or a full year.
“Whether you’re here on a gig or not sure you want to be here full-time, it speaks to a new entrant in the market,” Gleser said, of the target audience for the apartments.
“The ability to move into a unit that already has electric, Wifi and cable included, in addition to the fact that they are finished units, will make the move-in process more akin to checking into a hotel than moving into an apartment,” she added.
The project’s developers, the Friedman Group and Landis Group, acquired the site for about $80 million before the 2008 financial crisis, they told The Real Deal in 2013. They later demolished three low-rise buildings at the corner of West 42nd Street and Ninth Avenue to make way for the 27-story tower. The project will have 25,000 square feet of retail at the base.
Friedman and Landis tapped BD Hotels to operate the hotel as part of its Pod Hotels brand, a micro-unit concept focused on budget-conscious millennial travelers, which they launched in 2007. Currently, there are two Pod Hotels in Manhattan at 145 East 39th Street and 230 East 51st Street. Three more are in the works, including ones in Times Square, Williamsburg and Washington, D.C.
Born and Drukier, who own and operate 25 hotels, have waded into the residential market before. In 2001, they partnered with architect Richard Meier on 173 Perry Street (16 units) and 176 Perry Street (23 units). In partnership with the Kibel family in 2008, they also converted a Cass Gilbert office building at 90 West Street into a 410-unit rental.