Chang Hopes to Turn Old R/GA Garment Center Site Into a Hyatt Place


Toward the end of last year, global digital advertising agency R/GA moved out of its home at 350 West 39th Street, a year after Sam Chang of McSam Hotel Group bought the site for $112 million.

Chang has since demolished the structure, which is between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, and plans to break ground in the next 60 days for a Gene Kaufman-designed 25-story, 500-room hotel, he told Commercial Observer today. The proposed brand is Hyatt Place, Chang said, which has more than 215 locations worldwide. He is negotiating with Chicago-based Hyatt Hotels Corporation for a contract.

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McSam Hotel Group has the ability to build up to 300,000 square feet at the site, as CO reported when the sale was imminent.

“It’s a great spot for a hotel,” Robert Knakal of Cushman & Wakefield told CO at the time the deal closed. He along with colleague David Kalish represented both sides in the all-equity deal.

Chang bought the property from a group, which included Robert Greenberg, R/GA’s founder, chairman and chief executive officer. That group bought the two-story, 20,000-square-foot 1968 commercial building in 1984, as CO previously reported.

R/GA moved to Brookfield Property Partners‘s 5 Manhattan West at 450 West 33rd Street. The company was originally in 173,000 square feet on the entire 12th floor and part of the 11th floor but subsequently expanded to 225,000 square feet, a Brookfield spokesman confirmed. That includes the balance of the 11th floor.