Hotelier and developer Richard Born, usually a quiet background guy, is making some noise at 510 West 42nd Street. Born, co-chief of the BD Hotels empire with long-time cohort Ira Drukier, has a new project in the works over where Hell's Kitchen butts up against some big plans for Hudson Yards. The property, a three-story former Travel Lodge that runs from 41st Street to 42nd Street west of Tenth Avenue, has been controlled by Born for years. Back in 2006 he shopped it around, hoping to rack up $100M. It looked like a 37-story tower would rise there, but then NYC construction hit the skids. Now, it looks like this oldtimer is getting a new lease on life. Various permits have been filed for building improvements overseen by architect Matt Markowitz, who worked with BD Hotels and Robert De Niro on Tribeca's Greenwich Hotel.
The original structure went up in 1958 and straddles the 25' deep cut for the New York Central Railroad tracks that run up the West Side and transformed this area back in the 1930s. Born's father acquired the site in the late '70s (and in '93 had a legal wrangle with AMTRAK over some crumbling asbestos underneath). When times got really tough in the '80s it was converted from a tourist hotel to an emergency way station for the homeless, which is how it remained for the next 20 years. But that's all in the past. This place is well situated for the future, if and when Hudson Yards starts rising. Plus it's got a great view of the grand St. Raphael's church across West 41st (where guests can both pray and play). When this retrofitted hotel reopens they might need to rename this stretch of 42nd Street "BD Way." The company's Travel Inn is also on the block.
· Richard Born coverage [Curbed]
· BD Hotels coverage [Curbed]