Vornado files to demolish Hotel Pennsylvania ahead of proposed 2.6M sf tower

By Atticus O’Brien-Pappalardo

Vornado Realty Trust, on August 17, filed plans for a $35 million project that will demolish down to the ground floor the 101-year-old Hotel Pennsylvania at 401 Seventh Avenue in Penn Plaza, Manhattan. David Bellman of Vornado filed the plans but declined to comment on them.

Vornado has been contemplating demolishing the 23-story building, that first opened in 1919, on and off since it acquired the property in the late 1990s. After the hotel permanently closed earlier last year, Vornado CEO Steven Roth announced to shareholders that its demolition was “inevitable”. Vornado plans to redevelop the Penn Plaza neighborhood under a plan backed by former Governor Andrew Cuomo, dubbed Empire Station Complex.

A state environmental impact statement illustrates plans for the multi-building project, just east of Related Companies and Brookfield Properties office towers in Hudson Yards. According to the environmental report, the project could lead to the construction of 10 new buildings on eight development sites. In total, the development could facilitate “…the construction of approximately 20 million ground square feet of new Class A commercial office space, retail, and hotel space on eight development sites within the project area.”

The statement continues to say that “Site 7”, which is the site of Hotel Pennsylvania, “would be redeveloped with a new building containing approximately 2.6 million ground square feet of office, retail, and accessory parking uses.” It also makes it clear that even if the project does not move forward, the hotel has seen its last days, noting that, “If the proposed project does not proceed, it is anticipated that Vornado would demolish the Hotel Pennsylvania building and construct a somewhat smaller office building (also with retail and accessory parking uses) on Site 7.”

A rendering of the proposed project can be seen below:

The DOB plans call for the demolition of all but the ground floor of the 305-foot tall, 23-story building. This was filed with the New York City Department of Buildings under job number M00553790.

The project is described in the filing as: Hereby filing to remove upper floors and change the use for underground levels as shown on plans filed herewith.

The architect listed is Aai Architects, P.C.

Direct link to Acris documents. LINK

Direct link to DOB NOW Public Portal. LINK

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