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Tasty Chocolates Impede Drake Hotel Demo

The eventual demolition of the Drake Hotel at Park Avenue and 56th Street is a fait accomplit thanks to new owner/developer Harry Macklowe. Only one thing stands in his way: unruly tenants like Fauchon, the French chocolate store, which has agreed to terminate its lease in April 2007, but not earlier. Reports the NYT, "Harry Macklowe may or may not like chocolate — he will not say. But he is feuding with a famous chocolatier over things like leases, scaffolding, air-conditioning, even bathrooms." Read on for threats of no air conditioning, unruly scaffolding, and general harassment. Good times.

In the Post, Steve Cuozzo adds to the fun today by noting Macklowe's feuds with another pesky tenant at a separate development site, 510 Madison Avenue: "Fifth-floor custom tailor Raphael Schwartz remains in his studio, even though black netting wraps the building and several adjacent ones on East 53rd Street as preliminary demolition gets under way." And, finally, this delightful kicker: "One industry player downplayed the theory that Macklowe's sense of urgency had anything to do with a fear that the condo market was peaking and that time was therefore of the essence."
· Demolition Plans Pit Developer Against Chocolatier [NYTimes]
· Holdouts Give Macklowe Fits [NYPost]
· It Happened One Weekend: Drake Sold! [Curbed]