The quickest way to end a conversation with any preservationist is to mention how happy you are that they finally did away with that tacky old Drake Hotel. The 1928 beauty at Park Avenue and 56th Street was bought and demolished by developer Harry Macklowe just before the real estate market came tumbling down, taking his company along with it. Other properties, such as a string of classic townhouses on 57th Street, are also marked for death to form the lot for the proposed L-shaped replacement high-rise. The site has been a Park Avenue pit for years and the whole project is in limbo due to financial problems, lawsuits and assorted other issues (Jacob the Jeweler is holding out for $100 million!), but the Drake site is still, as one expert puts it, "inarguably the best development site in the country and possibly the world,” so what's the latest?
Citing ongoing legal issues, the Macklowes didn't comment for the Times' story, but there is this little morsel of news:
The Macklowes are tenaciously clinging to the Drake project and have told people they are determined to see it developed, most likely with a financial partner, even if they have to wait for years. Several brokers said the continuing involvement of Mr. Macklowe, who is considered highly creative but also litigious and a tough negotiator, adds a layer of complications.Cool, so a few more years of squalor, then comes the glass box. That should cheer the Wired New York gang right up!
· Drake Hotel’s Prime Space Remains Undeveloped [NYT]
· Drake Hotel/440 Park Avenue coverage [Curbed]