Former Williams Club Booked as Boutique Hotel
Al Barbarino Sept. 23, 2013, 12:35 p.m.
More than three years after the Williams Club shuttered its doors following a nearly century-long stint as a private clubhouse for Williams College alumni, 24 East 39th Street is set for a rebirth as a boutique hotel.
Purchased by Shlomo Bakhash of The Kash Group for $9 million last year, the property is undergoing an $11 million transformation into a 33-room modern extended stay hotel, with guest residences across five floors available for stays of 30 days or more, the firm announced last week.
Mr. Bakhash has owned and operated a portfolio of over 30 commercial and residential properties over the last 26 years, but the venture marks the developer’s first entrance into the hospitality sector.
He tapped Warner Hospitality to manage the property, whose portfolio includes the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Sioux City, which are currently under development.
The hotel, set for completion this winter, is being designed by Edwin Zawadzki and Mason Wickham of In Situ Design; Lilian Bakhash of Lilian B Interiors; and artist William Engel.
New York City restaurateurs Jason Hicks and Yves Jadot, behind Jones Wood Foundry, have signed on to develop two on-site food & beverage offerings, while Chef Robert Aiken, formerly of Stephen Starr’s Dandelion in Philadelphia, will helm The Peacock and Shakespeare’s Pub.
The Williams Club’s closing occurred amid a string of closures among private clubs that some portrayed at the time as a change in leisure interests among younger generations of men and women, who purportedly prefer boutique hotels to the “gilded clubhouse.”
Williams’ alumni now bunk and dine with Columbia University and New York University alumni, which also shuttered their clubhouses, at the Princeton Club, at 15 West 43rd Street.
The Williams Club had operated since 1924 out of two connected brownstones featuring 28 guest rooms, two dining venues and private meeting rooms.