Starwood, Tribeca move forward with Midtown condo and hotel

Starwood Capital and Tribeca Associates have finished acquiring surrounding air rights and are beginning construction on the 45-story condo and hotel tower planned for the former site of the Donnell Library in Midtown.

The New York Post reported that Tishman Construction has begin excavation work at 20 West 53rd Street for the 340,000-square-foot building’s foundation. It will dedicate the bottom three stories to a Donnell Library replacement, the next nine to an ultra-luxury hotel and the remaining floors to condominium apartments.

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The building will reach that height thanks to two recent deals Starwood and Tribeca struck with nearby landlords. In December they paid $30.825 million for air rights from the owners of 666 Fifth Avenue, and a month later they paid $16.6 million for air rights from Orient-Express, which owns the ’21’ Club behind the construction site and were the original developers of the project before Starwood and Tribeca bought it out last year. The ownership group also took out a $63 million mortgage on the site.

Though the Department of Buildings has yet to approve all the plans, final renderings haven’t been released, and it’s still unclear what the hotel will be branded, the New York Public Library, which operates Donnell, expects it to be complete by 2014. [Post, 1st item]