Hotel Gossip: Ian Schrager Eyes Midtown Development


More work ahead for this hotel maestro

The master of the boutique hotel is fixing his gaze now on an office building in midtown Manhattan. We hear Ian Schrager has worked out a deal to convert an office building on 6th Avenue into...wait for it...a six-star luxury hotel.

Does six-star even really exist? We've been to the Burj Al-Arab in Dubai, which has been tagged as such. If this is the case, Schrager, indeed, has his work cut out for him. We hear the number affixed to the project is $100 million, with work, perhaps, beginning in 2010.

The building in question has a wonderful pedigree: built during the 1920s, 18-stories and a location on the corner of 58th Street with stunning Central Park views. It's reported that the building was initially built as a hotel and was host to many a Kiss party on the penthouse roof deck. 

What a great time to be in the hotel business, right? Occupancy rates in New York continue to fall at a steep pace, dragging rates down with it. However, if Schrager can do with this hotel what he did with Gramercy, then the owners will be happy. 

Our question: What does Mr. Marriott think of all this? Isn't Schrager supposed to be working on developing Marriott's own boutique brand, Edition? Hopefully, for Schrager sake, he has good balance!

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