First off, who is Harry Gross?
Not even The Times can crack the case. The gray lady revealed more details about Mr. Gross’ Marriott on Broadway, soon to be the tallest hotel in New York. At 753 feet, it surpasses the Four Seasons on 57th Street, and it is the largest, at 639 rooms, since the Westin Times Square opened in 2002.
And yet Mr. Gross, who we find out owns three Marriotts in the city and one each in Philly and Ghent, Belgium—Belgium?—would not even deign to grant an interview to the paper of record. The Observer had tried for a month earlier this year to do the same to no effect. If you know anything, see email address below.
Still, the paper did turn up this shiny new rendering, which looks quite a bit slicker than the original, a flat number and sporting a Houston-style circular observatory. There are also some details in public records:
Designed by Nobutaka Ashihara, the tower will have a main entrance and arrival lobby on West 54th Street; the lobby for the Residence Inn will be on the building’s third floor, and the Courtyard lobby will be on the fourth floor. Courtyard guest rooms will be on floors 6 through 32, while Residence Inn rooms will be on floors 36 through 64; each hotel will have its own elevator banks.
The project will include ground-floor retail space; a leased restaurant on the second floor; a lounge and terrace with outdoor seating and views of Broadway on the fifth floor; and a fitness center, for use by guests of both hotels, on the 34th floor.
The lobby of the Courtyard, whose brand is geared to business travelers, will have a contemporary design, flexible space and what Marriott calls a GoBoard, a 55-inch interactive touch screen where guests can obtain local information and news headlines. The Residence Inn, an extended-stay hotel, will offer guests suites with kitchens. Since the Residence Inn will sit above the Courtyard, Marriott officials said it would also offer the project’s best views of the city and Central Park.
The Times also turns up some staggering facts about the industry, namely that there are 105,000 hotel rooms in the city’s 544 hotels, with 20,700 more rooms in the pipeline. From boutiques to behemoths, do we really need them all? If the number of tourists keeps rising to record levels, probably so.