It's been awhile—jesus, it really has been awhile—since we espied the construction work underway at 150 Lafayette Street in Soho, the forthcoming home of a new Mondrian Hotel. Per a recent drop-by by a Curbed operative, the construction site is humming—and nowhere moreso than on the building's backside, which fronts Crosby Street. Indeed, the Crosby courtyard is quite spacious, and, per the hilariously unfinished website for the project (sample prose: "Discuss the addition and design details later"), promises, well, this: "This stress-reducing verdant entryway will serve as a new urban oasis similar to Midtown’s delightful vest-pocket parks."
A stress-reducing, verdant entryway! Why, who wouldn't want that in their neighborhood? Uh, the neighbors, it turns out.
Our colleagues at Eater attended the Community Board 2 meeting last eve, and as the world turns, the Mondrian turned out to be the issue of the moment. Reports Eater,
By far the longest and most contentious issue was that of the Mondrian Soho located on 9 Crosby Street and 150 Lafayette. They are proposing a full-service restaurant on the 1st and 2nd floors, as well as a restaurant “garden” that is basically right on Crosby. The presentation started with remarks by Fred Kleisner, CEO of Morgan hotels and a longtime Crosby St. resident. Watching him up there, with his elegant swagger and fancy blue suit (he didn’t forget to bring a pocket square), we were expecting him to deliver Gordon Gekko’s “greed is good” speech, but instead he basically hammered home two points: the hotel is not “nightclub-driven” and is all about “quiet enjoyment.”...Eh, so much for stress-reduction. (By the way, Eater's report has some Trump Soho dirt AND Jane Street Hotel news, so hotel junkies should definitely continue reading.)
He explained that 55% of their clientele is corporate (Microsoft is their top client, for example), and that it’s not all about Hollywood and fashion. It was pretty much all downhill from here, as people began to hammer them on those very points (noise and “carousing”) specifically in reference to the effect the proposed garden will have on Crosby St., which to most critics is “one of the last quiet streets in Manhattan.” After a string of speeches criticizing the garden, the execs had no choice but to agree to several stipulations: 1) No music in the garden, 2) No private parties in the garden, 3) Restricted access to Crosby (only for hotel guests) at all times, going both in and out, and 4) an 11 pm closing time in the garden. They agreed on the conservative conditions with the guarantee that they can bring their case back to the board after they’ve opened for a few months and are in good shape with the community.
· First Word: CB2 Gives Trump, Jane, Mondrian Hotels Hell [Eater]
· The New Mondrian Hotel [150lafayettehotel.com]
· Checking In: Lafayette Luxury for the Hotel Set [Curbed]