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Return of the Battery Maritime Building: Hotel Idea Has Fans

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There's a revised plan for the Battery Maritime Building making the rounds, Downtown Express reports, and it's gaining community support. One problem: financing concerns may derail the whole thing. The hundred-year-old ferry building at the southern tip of Manhattan (where David Byrne's crazy organ thingy recently was exhibited) has been the subject of a controversial plan to add 135 hotel rooms and restaurant space on top. The size of the Rogers Marvel-designed rooftop addition was tweaked a few times, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission finally signed off on the shrunken design when developer the Dermot Company also promised to restore four historic cupolas on the water side of the building. The proposal is making its way through the public land review process, and Community Board 1 appears to be falling in line. The building's second-floor Great Hall, a columned space with a huge skylight, would be a public space with a food court and cultural events. But about that money thing.

On the project's estimated $150 million cost:

In May, Alex Adams, the project manager with Dermot, told Downtown Express that he would seek private financing in early 2009. He said he hoped the financial markets would have stabilized by then, allowing construction to start in 2009 and finish in 2011. This week, the Dermot Company declined to comment on the project. Peter Poulakakos, whose family is developing the Battery Maritime Building along with Dermot, said this week that financing is Dermot’s job, but he still can’t help but worry about the economy.

“I don’t know if it will get better,” Poulakakos said. “But you don’t stop moving. You still have to plan it and then hopefully it happens.”

For what it's worth, the city's Economic Development Corporation is pulling for the project. Hopefully they're not holding their breath.
· Battery Maritime plan backed by residents, but will lenders agree? [Downtown Express]
· Battery Maritime Building coverage [Curbed]

Battery Maritime Building

11 South Street, New York, NY