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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Baccarat Tower

20 W.53rd St. New York



WSJ

April 24, 2012

Starwood's Crystal Vision

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.

Archpartners

An artist's rendering of Starwood Capital Group's Baccarat Hotel, set to open in midtown Manhattan in 2014. The $403 million development will include 115 hotel rooms and 64 high-end residences.

The $403 million development will include 115 hotel rooms with some rates that Starwood said will exceed $800 a night and 64 residences that the real-estate investor hopes will be among the city's most expensive on a square-foot basis.

The hotel looks to capitalize on the tony image of Baccarat Crystal, the French manufacturer of fine glassware that Starwood acquired in 2005.

The hotel will feature Baccarat chandeliers, a boutique store selling crystal with price tags up to $10,000, and crystal museum pieces that will rotate through the lobby.

"We're going to marry Louis XV with the modern era," said Barry Sternlicht, Starwood Capital's chief executive officer and chairman of Baccarat. "We will be catering to high-end couples and business travelers who may be shopping on Fifth Avenue."

While Mr. Sternlicht said Starwood and its partners are putting up to $161 million of equity into the project, he will be shopping for a construction loan at a time when lending has been scarce for new hotel projects. The company hasn't scheduled a groundbreaking.

Mr. Sternlicht gained renown as a hotelier for creating what is now Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. HOT +0.45%by combining brands such as ITT Sheraton and Westin as well as creating the trendy W brand.

He has planned for years to forge Baccarat into a chain of luxury boutique hotels, but several early projects ran aground, such as one in Hawaii that didn't generate enough condominium sales and another in Anguilla that ran short of financing.

The first Baccarat is expected to open in Rabat, Morocco, in 2014, shortly before the Manhattan hotel is slated to open.

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Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Baccarat Tower Panned By Architecture Critic



The latest rendering, however, mitigates that severity with what looks to be a clear glass curtain wall. But the sides and summit of the structure appear to have been surrounded by a severe black jacket that recalls, with differences, this firm’s work, over 30 years ago, at 9 West 57th Street and at the Grace Building on West 42nd Street. Even the division of the building into a base, a shaft and a summit recalls an earlier era. Near the top of the structure, one of the side-walls has been perforated with an opening in an attempt to make the building seem a little less boring, but it is unlikely to help.

In the past decade, any number of architects — from Jean Nouvel at 40 Mercer Street to Shigeru Ban at the Metal Shutter Houses to Kohn Pedersen Fox at the office tower 505 Fifth Avenue — have rediscovered the joys of Modernism, even as they have had the grace and the imagination to soften and energize the Modernist idiom. SOM, as well, despite their brief flirtation with historicism in the late 1990s at 383 Madison Avenue, has now returned with a vengeance to the Modernist fold.

But if Nouvel, Ban and KPF are practicing a kind of neo-Modernism, an improved and more elegant Modernism, the architects at SOM, with some notable exceptions like 7 World Trade Center, are still designing as though it were the 1970s.
 

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I'm hoping the final product will look better than the renders. With so many midcentury boxes in Midtown, I wonder why we needed another one

Cause boxes are always going to be most efficient and profit maximizing buildings in NYC. Shouldn't be a surprise by now, lol.:lol:

Tokyo the same btw. When land is expensive and scares, boxes fill those lots up to the limit of the envelope which is only logical
 
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