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Hard Rock Hotel rendering (l; Hard Rock International) and construction (r; CityRealty) Hard Rock Hotel rendering (l; Hard Rock International) and construction (r; CityRealty)
Because Times Square doesn’t have enough hotels and tourists, construction is in progress on New York’s first Hard Rock Hotel at 159 West 48th Street. Extell bought the parking garage formerly on-site for nearly $46 million in December 2014, combined it with an empty lot it already owned, and added 45,000 square feet of unused air rights from local theaters to the mix. The result will be a 442-foot-tall, 35-story, 445-room hotel offering easy access to Times Square and Rockefeller Center.
The new hotel is part of Hard Rock Hotels’ expansion into the Northeast. Appropriately enough, it is going up on “Music Row,” a block that was once home to musical instrument stores. The hotel will pay tribute to music with live events and museum-like memorabilia displays. Amenities will include an underground speakeasy, third-floor “rock gym,” “rock star suite” with a terrace on floors 33-34, and a rooftop lounge for live music and DJs. Notably absent from this lineup is the Times Square Hard Rock Café, which will stay a separate entity five blocks away.
159-West-48th-Street-3 Hard Rock Hotel rendering via Hard Rock International
Hard Rock Hotel Excavation proceeding as of early May (CityRealty)
The Hard Rock Hotel’s opening date is rumored for late spring 2019. When it does open, it will have increased competition from a hospitality building boom in the surrounding blocks: Permits have been filed to nearly double the Times Square DoubleTree Hotel at 1568 Broadway to 745 suites. Last April, Tribeach Holdings filed permits to build a 27-story, 343-room hotel at 145-155 West 47th Street. A 39-story, 452-room Marriott Edition hotel at 701 Seventh Avenue has nearly topped out. And in late 2014, Rockefeller Group Development sold two parcels on Seventh Avenue between West 48th and 49th Street to Comjem Associates for $49 million. Current plans are unknown, but yet another hotel would not be surprising.
145-155-West-47th-Street-1 145-155 West 47th Street via CityRealty
145-155-West-47th-Street-2 Aerial hotel rendering via Berg + Moss Architects
701-Seventh-Avenue-1 Edition via CityRealty
West 48th and 49th Street sites via CityRealty

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Content Specialist Michelle Mazzarella Michelle is a contributing writer and editor for real estate news in New York City