Developer Jeff Sutton is betting big on the revival of New York City’s tourism industry.
The founder of Wharton Properties filed a permit on April 29 to build a 26-story, 176,375-square-foot hotel at 25 West 34th Street, according to the Commercial Observer. The site is currently home to a 16,000-square-foot retail space that is being subleased by the fashion company Superdry. The new hotel would have 336 rooms, and retail on the ground floor.
Sutton declined to comment to the Commercial Observer.
The move comes at a time when the pandemic has wreaked havoc on the hotel industry. A November report found that more than 80 percent of hotels in the city that are backing CMBS loans — equivalent to $3.1 billion — are exhibiting signs of strain due to the coronavirus pandemic. That’s higher than the national average of 71 percent at the time.
Some developers have been eyeing commercial-to-residential conversions, with hotels as potential targets. Some lawmakers have been encouraging the potential trend, introducing bills that would include $100 million in the state budget for turning distressed commercial properties into affordable housing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has also introduced a new policy that would limit how many hotels could be built. Under the proposed plan, City Council would have to approve any new hotel built in the city. However, that may cost the city $350 million by 2025 and up to $7 billion in 2035 in lost tax revenue.
[CO] — Sasha Jones