Ever since Goldman Sachs cut the ticker tape on its new Battery Park City HQ, the investment bank has been working to upgrade its next-door neighbor, the Embassy Suites complex at 102 North End Avenue, which Goldman also owns. Restaurateur Danny Meyer was courted to apply his Midas touch to the dining scene, and now the Downtown Express reports the Embassy Suites itself will become a Conrad Hotel in late 2011. The Conrad chain is an upscale subsidiary of Hilton, and a Hilton rep told the paper that Lower Manhattan's "relatively low supply of luxury hotel rooms" (take that, Ritz-Carlton, Gild Hall and W!) provided a good opportunity for the company to swoop in. You go, BPC! Just remember to watch your heads during all this excitement.
Meanwhile, in the Murray Hill/Midtown environs, it looks like the new Gansevoort Park will get some competition from another big name in the boutique biz. BD Hotels, the company led by Ira Drukier and Richard Born (of Chambers, Maritime and Greenwich hotels fame) has purchased the vacant 17-story former Salvation Army building at 145 East 39th Street, The Real Deal reports. The building dates back to 1918 (F. Scott Fitzgerald lived there for a spell back when it was the Allerton Hotel) and was designated a city landmark in 2008. It was controversially emptied out by the Salvation Army to facilitate a sale. BD Hotels snatched it up for $28 million and plans to open it as a hotel by the end of 2011, following a renovation that should remove all traces of salvation.
· Conrad Hotels to replace Embassy Suites in BPC [Dowtown Express]
· BD Hotels buys Salvation Army Midtown tower for $28M [Real Deal]