New York Grand Hyatt, Donald Trump’s first big project, faces demolition

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Published: February 8, 2019 7:11:20 AM

The hotel was Trump's first success in Manhattan after he started in real estate with his father.

The Grand Hyatt is immediately east of the Grand Central train station on 42nd Street and was the former Commodore Hotel. (File/Reuters)

A New York developer and a partner plan to demolish the Grand Hyatt New York, the hotel that launched U.S. President Donald Trump’s real estate career in Manhattan decades ago, the two companies said on Thursday.

Developer TF Cornerstone and MSD Partners, which manages the assets of Dell Technologies founder Michael Dell and his family, said they would develop 2 million square feet (186,000 square metres) of office and retail space and a new luxury Grand Hyatt Hotel.

The redevelopment would be in collaboration with an affiliate of Hyatt Hotels Corp, TF Cornerstone and MSD Partners said in a statement.

The Grand Hyatt is immediately east of the Grand Central train station on 42nd Street and was the former Commodore Hotel, a derelict stone building built in 1919 that Trump gutted and re-skinned with a glass facade after its purchase in 1978.

The hotel was Trump’s first success in Manhattan after he started in real estate with his father, a wealthy developer in the New York City borough of Queens where the president grew up. Entering Manhattan established Trump’s name as a businessman and made him a source of tabloid fascination.

The new development would provide new subway entrances and enhanced connectivity to the subway system underneath Grand Central, and a significant increase in tax revenue, according to the statement.

The project marks a further step in the revitalization of east Midtown where a 1,401-foot (427-m) skyscraper, One Vanderbilt, is rising next to Grand

Central on its west side, and JPMorgan Chase & Co plans to build a new headquarters nearby on Park Avenue.
State and city approval is required and construction financing must be arranged, the statement said.

The project may deter potential tenants from relocating to Hudson Yards, a district rising on Manhattan’s West Side where a number of marquee companies have decided to relocate.

“This will be a draw for new office tenants and potentially lure tenants away that would have otherwise considered Hudson Yards,” said Myers Mermel, chief executive and co-founder of TenantWise, a real estate research and advisory firm.

“It will re-establish Midtown East as the pre-eminent office district,” he said.

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