A neighbor of Ian Schrager's rising 50 Gramercy Park North says that not only is the development inhaling all his airspace, it's violating a 75-year-old agreement:
Having moved next door to 4 Lexington Ave in 2001, one block away at 22nd St, it was with great pleasure that my terrace looked across an interior courtyard at the matching hotel back; the hotel's short (connecting the two towers) four-story "hyphen" mirrored our building, with bi-directional sky views, sunlight, and airflow. An agreement made in 1929 not only prohibited building upward on this connecting piece, but also insisted that architectural similarity (down to the yellow brick finish) be maintained to preserve harmony. Additionally, the district is designated historic, but somehow the hotel is not restricted by this. Now, in addition to long hours of jackhammering and dust, Ian Schrager is filling in that middle section 13 stories high -- with $3000/square foot apartments -- an extension of a middle finger to 4 Lexington which is more than metaphorical -- it is literally rising up between the two towers each day.
Unfortunately, the aforementioned agreement was signed in bathtub rye and has since faded. Meanwhile, news that Schrager just stepped down from the top post at the Morgans Hotel Group to concentrate on luxury residential towers like 50 Gramercy means that he could be giving you the "more than metaphorical" middle finger any day now. UPDATE: The Real Estate has the skinny on the 1929 agreement: only valid until 1953. So close!
· Schrager Quits Hotel Company to Concentrate on Apartments [NY Times]
· Schrager's 50 Gramercy Park North Clears 3k/sqft [Curbed]
· Spying on Schrager's 50 Gramercy Park North [Curbed]