The Real Deal New York

Young hotelier to open Garment District spot

By Amy Tennery | October 29, 2009 07:36PM

Steven Kassin
When Fashion 26 opens its doors this December, one young hotelier may have white knuckles: The spot is the first that Steven Kassin, the 24-year-old Infinity Group principal, has led from start to finish.

“It’s my baby,” Kassin said of the Garment District hotel at 152 West 26th Street, on the corner of Seventh Avenue. “I’m young and I can’t afford to mess up.”

Kassin, who’s been working with the Infinity Group since graduating with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from New York University at age 20, is heading up the $90 million project, in partnership with CPI, Citigroup’s real estate private equity group. Rooms start at $275 per night.

In planning 280-key Fashion 26, a Wyndham-brand hotel, Kassin said he tapped the history of the Garment District, where his father operated a family business.

Kassin said the Garment District hasn’t received a great deal of attention from developers: “We found this to be a great opportunity to theme [the hotel] to the history of the neighborhood.”

He’s in talks with the head of Crumbs Bake Shop, a close friend, to create specialty cupcakes that pay homage to great fashion designers. Each guest will receive one upon check-in because, as Kassin said, “It’s good to have something sweet when you arrive.”

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