Developer Larry Silverstein has just bought a building that he once couldn’t afford to eat in.
The 81-year-old WTC builder announced today he has partnered with Fisher Brothers, Capstone Equities, Migdal Insurance Company and Arkin Holdings, to buy the Beekman Tower in Midtown Manhattan. The sale price was $82 million, according to sources.
“The first time I visited the Beekman was on a date in 1955 with my fiancé Klara,” said Silverstein. ” The restaurant was well known as a celebrity hang out with incredible views of Midtown and the East river. We rode the elevator up to the 26th floor where I took one look at the menu and realized I couldn’t afford to eat there! Now we are fortunate to have the opportunity to purchase this remarkable asset.”
The group will invest approximately $25 million to renovate the interiors of the 153,000 s/f 174-room art deco hotel, and convert it into furnished luxury corporate apartment suites.
Fisher Brothers and Silverstein Properties are the co-developers of the conversion of the project, and Silverstein Properties will manage and operate the property as well as lease the residential units. Plaza Construction will be the general contractor of the renovation.
Winston Fisher, partner at Fisher Brothers, said “The Beekman Tower is an icon in the New York skyline that has enjoyed enduring value as one of this city’s most beautiful properties. We are extremely pleased to join with our world class partners on its acquisition.”
“We are happy to join Silverstein, Fisher and Migdal Insurance in acquiring the Beekman Tower,” said Mori Arkin, chairman of Arkin Holdings. This is the first United States investment for Arkin Holdings.
The Silver Suites Residences at Beekman Tower is the latest venture under Silverstein’s “Silver Suites” brand, which includes 107 residences at Silver Towers at 606 42nd Street and 60 pre-built and furnished offices at 7 World Trade Center.
50 of the new apartments at Beekman Tower will open in September 2013 and the remaining 124 will open by the beginning of 2014. The property will feature 54 studios, 118 one-bedrooms and two two-bedrooms that offer stays of 30 days or longer.
All of the units will feature updated furnishings and décor, fully-equipped kitchens, and include all utilities, cable, telephone and internet. The average suite size is in excess of 600 square feet. The two-bedroom suites are in excess of 1,000 square feet. The building will include a wireless business center, a health club and concierge service.
Marty Burger, co-CEO of Silverstein Properties, said: “We are delighted to partner with Fisher Brothers, Capstone Equities, Migdal Insurance and Arkin Holdings on this historical landmark project in one of Manhattan’s most exclusive neighborhoods.
“Silver Suites Residences at Beekman Tower will perfectly complement our Silver Suites Residences at Silver Towers on West 42nd Street. The building is a stone’s throw from the United Nations, Grand Central Terminal and Park Avenue, and I have no doubt that this project will be a tremendous success. As with all of our Silver Suites Residence projects, all you need to move in here is your toothbrush.”
Located at the top of Beekman Hill, Beekman Tower is one of the great Art Deco skyscrapers in Midtown Manhattan. The building is located at 3-7 Mitchell Place, a single block that runs between First Avenue and East 49th Street. Designed by John Mead Howells and opened in 1929 as the Panhellenic Tower, the building originally provided affordable housing to 400 young, college-educated women who were entering the New York City workforce in record numbers in the 1920s.
The hotel and restaurant have hosted many celebrities over the years including Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Huey Lewis and Jennifer Hudson.
The property consists of two towers that are joined at street level. The main hotel tower is 26 stories, and the east “annex” tower is 10 stories. The 26-story building features panoramic views of the East River and Midtown. The building’s façade was designated a landmark by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1998.
Stonehill & Taylor, the architecture and interior design firm that designed the refurbished Plaza Hotel, will design the new interior of the building. Plaza Construction will perform the interior renovation construction.
Eastdil Secured marketed the property and Silverstein Properties and Fisher Brothers arranged the acquisition and development loan with Cantor Commercial Real Estate (CCRE).
In 2009, Silverstein Properties opened Silver Suites Residences at Silver Towers, with 107 fully furnished luxury apartments that offer stays of six months or longer. Silverstein recently launched Silver Suites Offices at 7 World Trade Center, a new executive office space and service that provides 60 pre-built and furnished offices for growing companies of all sizes on the 46th floor of the 52-story tower.