Boutique hotel pioneer Ian Schrager plans to expand his newest hotel concept, Public, to New York with a new 25-story hotel and residential tower on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The Wall Street Journal reported today that Schrager and investors paid $50 million for the site at 215 Chrystie Street, once a garden for an adjacent low-income tower at 10 Stanton Street. The land was sold after tenants and the tower owner struck a deal to build a rooftop recreation area and extend affordability of the units. Schrager gained fame in the 1970s for operating the famous Studio 54 nightclub and has more recently developed the Gramercy Park Hotel and the Herzog & de Meuron-designed 40 Bond condo building, where he lives in the penthouse.
The new Public hotel line launched its first outlet in Chicago at the old Ambassador East Hotel, and Schrager plans to open similar boutique hotels, billed as sophisticated and modern yet affordable, in major cities around the world. An earlier development plan for a Public hotel near Herald Square fell through.
Plans are still emerging and no architect or construction timeline has been set, but papers filed with the city indicate that the first 17 floors of the 25-story tower will house the hotel with apartments above. The tower will stand higher than most surrounding buildings, but the neighborhood has been rising in height in past years with the completion of SANAA‘s New Museum on the next block, Arquitectonica’s Avalon Bay residential building next door, and the Thompson LES hotel by Rawlings Architects a few blocks east among others.
Despite the land deal, some neighbors aren’t pleased with the proposed tower’s height, most notably, the Norman Foster-designed Sperone Westwater Gallery, which claims shadows will obstruct light from entering its gallery space. The gallery has hired environmental lawyers to fight the project.