A new dark glass monolith is set to rise in midtown in the next couple of years, directly across from MoMA at the former site of the NYPL's Donnell Library. Starwood Capital's CEO Barry Sternlicht is still trying to line up financing, but he'd like to open the crystal-branded Baccarat Hotel by 2014
Trying to tap into Manhattan's hot market for luxury apartments and high-end hotels, Starwood Capital Group's Baccarat Hotels and Resorts is launching a plan to develop a project across from the Museum of Modern Art.
The $403 million project will pair 115 hotel rooms with 65 luxury residences. Rooms charging $800 a night will cater to "high-end couples and business travelers who may be shopping on Fifth Avenue."
There will also be 29,000 square feet of space to house a new library to replace the one that the condo-hotel tower supplanted, and the NYPL wants to open that space by 2015. Enrique Norten and Skidmore Owings and Merrill have both been linked to the project. Sternlicht told the Journal that he wants to marry Louis XV with the modern era.
The first Baccarat is expected to open in Rabat, Morocco, in 2014, shortly before the Manhattan hotel is slated to open.
Starwood is entering a heavily populated Manhattan hotel market but one with limited high-end options, said some hotel analysts.
Starwood faces new competition for high-end hotel guests and residents. In about two years, Park Hyatt plans to open a new hotel a few blocks away in the lower floors of a luxury condo building that is under construction by Extell Development Co.
CIM Group and New York developer Harry Macklowe are planning a new luxury condo building at the former Drake hotel site on Park Avenue, and Hines is planning a Jean Nouvel-designed office, hotel and residential tower on 53rd Street adjacent to the Museum of Modern Art.
Sources: Curbed NY
· Starwood's Crystal Vision [WSJ]