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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)
 
 

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Bird's eye view of Handel Architects vision for the Park Lane Hotel redevelopment (Handel Architects)
Another year passes and the dated Park Lane Hotel continues to operate at Central Park's front door. Once known as the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel when it was owned by "Queen of Mean" Leona Helmsley, the 42-floor travesty in travertine may have missed the ultra-luxury condo boat again as federal prosecutors and a group of investors seek to untangle the legal red tape shrouding the property at 36 Central Park South.
Billed as the "world’s greatest site for development," the existing 370,000-square-foot tower is mired by low ceilings and a classic 70s design. A group of suitors led by the Witkoff Group, Harry Macklowe, New Valley L.L.C., and Highgate Holdings purchased the 628-key hotel in an auction in 2013, paying $654 million for the drab 1971 building. Malaysian businessman Jho Low agreed to finance 85 percent of the auction price and brought in Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Mubadala Investment Co. to chip in $135 million of their total. Lho is now at the center of a global money-laundering scandal. The U.S. Justice Department is now seeking to seize and recoup Low's stake in the project since it was allegedly purchased with money stolen from Malaysia’s state-owned 1MDB investment fund.
The development team had aimed to replace a large portion of the existing hotel with a soaring condominium with top-to-bottom views of Central Park. According to The New York Times, "Mr. Low’s contribution to the design was simple: Put outdoor swimming pools on the exterior galleries of each of the five penthouses." As shown in the renderings, Handel Architects' vision for the Park Lane site called for a slender, 88-unit condo that would have had amenities below grade, a through-block winter garden, several all-glass units staggered across six levels called "treehouse floors," and residences above, some with outdoor pools.
Porte-cochere
Making an entrance
The treehouse floors
(Handel Architects)
(Handel Architects)
(Handel Architects)
36-Central-Park-South (Handel Architects)
Ultimately, the Pritzker Prize-winning architects of Herzog & de Meuron, the same firm that designed 56 Leonard Street downtown, won the commission. Their proposal called for an 855-foot-tall undulating glass and concrete tower. The first apartment would be 140 feet above street level to guarantee that every unit would have a view of Central Park. The team hoped the condos would sell more than $8,000 a square foot on average.
 
 
 
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According to a 2017 story from the Times, through an agreement between Mr. Witkoff and the Justice Department, the hotel is to be sold off and the proceeds divided between Mubadala and Mr. Witkoff’s group of investors. The sellers hope the bids will exceed $1 billion and the government will take Mr. Low’s share. More recent reports indicate that Mubadala and other investors will buy the building.

So it seems that for the near term, the Park Lane Hotel will continue operation as a hotel. Despite the outdated decor routinely noted in customer reviews, its 628 rooms are often sold out likely due to its stellar location opposite Central Park and near Fifth Avenue. Post-Christmas availabilities show that rooms can be had for as low as $130/night.
Park-lane-Hotel Central Park South streetfront of the Park Lane Hotel (via Booking.com)
Spacious 1 Bedrooms with outdoor space and in-residence w/d View Property
Surround Yourself With Everything You Love at Jackson Park. AdvertisementView Property
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