Scott Rechler’s dreams are afloat.
RXR Realty is embarking on a $500 million renovation project that will turn a 1950s-era ocean liner into a hotel, Bloomberg reported. Rechler, the company founder and CEO, is now shopping plans around New York, San Francisco and about six other cities to find a place to moor the finished product.
Plans for the overhaul include a museum, brewery, food hall, glass-walled events space and restaurants, along with guest rooms.
Rechler got the idea as he was negotiating with Airbnb to build the short-term stay company 200 rental units at an Rockefeller Center office tower, and he found encouragement from Airbnb’s CEO, Brian Chesky, according to Bloomberg.
“In the current environment, people are looking for authenticity,” Rechler said. “They’re not necessarily looking for the next big glass box of a hotel. You can get that anywhere in the world. But where can you get the ship?”
The 990-foot boat, named the SS United States, took its first voyage in 1952 and ended its useful life in 1969 as the prominence of air travel rose. Now, it’s moored in Philadelphia and has weathered several unsuccessful attempts to give it a new lease on life. [Bloomberg] — Erin Hudson