A rendering of the completed 23-story hotel.
Super-luxe hotel is being erected on Cooper Square
By Lincoln Anderson
A hotel under construction on the East Villages edge will embody a new concept of Downtown Luxury, according to its developers.
At 23 stories, with 146 rooms, but no name yet, its rising at 25-33 Cooper Square at E. Fifth St. The opening is slated for early next year. Peck Moss Hotel Group, led by Gregory Peck, 32, and Matthew Moss, 33, are the developers.
Peck no relation to the late movie actor of the same name, he assured said the hotel will feature the most luxurious service and amenities.
The concept we have for the hotel is something we call Downtown Luxury to design something Downtown, but with a very high level of service reminiscent of the grande dame hotels of Europe, he said. We hope it doesnt come off as trendy, but timeless and mature.
Peck said the location is a big plus.
Its sort of a convergence of several Downtown neighborhoods Soho, the East Village, Union Square, he said. And were really excited about whats going on on the Bowery its going to make it a really vibrant area.
The hotels views are really going to be spectacular, he added. Theres not a lot thats really tall around it.
Some bloggers on real estate Web sites, however, have mocked the hotels white arcing shape, dubbing it the shark fin, others even calling it blatantly phallic. But Peck said he and Moss are high on the hotels design, which was done by Carlos Zapata.
Everyone has their opinions, Peck dismissed. We think its going to be beautiful and a great part of the skyline.
Our view is if we were building something new, it should be new, he continued. I think people will like it its just very sleek. Its a glass facade, but it will read white: It has fritting, he said, referring to the specially treated glass.
Rates are projected at $350 to $400 a night, typical for high-end hotels and significantly higher than the citys $200 average hotel room rate.
The hotel will also have a 2,000-square-foot live-music venue featuring eclectic music, a screening room with 30 or 40 seats, a destination restaurant and a couple of bars, Peck said. There will be a 3,000-square-foot rooftop event space, half enclosed and half open.
The hotels clientele likely will be a lot of fashion- and entertainment-type people, he said.
Although some neighbors feared the entrance was being planned for Fifth St., Peck said this was never the case.
The entrance is on Cooper Square and it always was. And the side entrance is on Fifth St., he said. I think people were afraid there would be deliveries and people coming in on Fifth St., he noted.
The project is being built around an existing tenement building, in which two residential tenants declined buyout offers.
They wanted to stay there and we had no problem with that, Peck said. The developers purchased the tenements air rights, though, allowing them to increase the projects height.
Its all right, because its sort of juxtaposing the old and the new, Peck said of the tenement holdouts. The artist tenants, Hettie Jones poet Amiri Barakas ex-wife and Kate Abel, occupy the old buildings third and fourth floors. The hotel will use the tenements second floor for administrative offices and the ground floor for a library with a fireplace for hotel guests. On Fifth St., to the south of the tenement, will be a street-level garden for the hotel.
When Peck spoke on Feb. 19, the hotels steel frame already had been erected to the seventh floor. He said the workers will put up a new floor every two to three workdays and top out the buildings frame by this months end.
In the industry, the thinking is that the city can use more hotel rooms, Peck said.
The total number of hotel rooms is about 71,000, he said. The citys been operating at close to 90 percent [hotel room] occupancy for the last two years and theres no sign of that slowing down. Tourism is at an all-time high. It dipped for a couple of years after 2001, but now were back at historical highs.