When the Port Authority announced earlier this month that it was looking for a developer to build a hotel behind Eero Saarinen’s iconic Terminal 5, The Observer was skeptical, to say the least. Efforts to revive the building after TWA went bankrupt and moved out a decade ago have floundered, and it seemed unlikely the sort of boutique hotel the Port was interested in could survive in sleepy Jamaica.
Well, it looks like we could not have been more wrong, as The Journal revealed yesterday that Andre Balazs–already said to be making a play for the Chelsea–toured the site, wedged between Saarinen’s original Terminal 5 and JetBlue’s crestent-shaped new one.
And today comes the news that none other that Donald Trump, or at least his representatives, looked into the project, as did European pod-hoteliers Yotel and Starwood, owners of the Sheraton and W brands.
The Journal is quick to point out that it’s by no means certain any of these companies will be involved, but it is still good news for the Port, which is desperate to see something take hold on the site. And there is still the matter of receiving a litany of approvals, including from the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the FAA.
The Observer remains reluctant to make a reservation, awesome as such an inn would be, but with hotels willing to try anything to recover from the recession, this sems like a good place to start.
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