There's a new hotel readying for arrival in Murray Hill and the second of its kind in Manhattan. The Pod 39 is located in the landmarked Allerton House at 145 East 39th Street in Murray Hill. The building is currently undergoing a thorough internal renovation—the building was landmarked in 2008, so the Northern Italian Renaissance exterior will remain unchanged—and an opening is targeted around July 5th. Managing director David Bernstein, who showed us around The Pod 39 earlier this week, said that the public areas of the hotel are a very important feature, offsetting smaller-than-average rooms for a Manhattan hotel.
Indeed, the well-appointed rooms seem almost nautical in theme due to the efficient use of space and design. But back to those public spaces: a great room on the ground floor and the lobby bar are still works in progress—staging areas for a construction project coming down the home stretch—but it is very easy to envision what will happen on the building's roof.
When the Allerton House on 39th Street was completed in 1919, it was more than a decade before The Empire State and Chrysler Buildings raced each other to become the tallest skyscrapers in the world. From the open roof surrounded by an arcade of Corinthian columns and pediments, tenants could have watched both buildings rise ever higher. The building on 39th Street was one of six Allerton hotels in the city at that time, catering to single men looking for reasonably priced apartments. The building would later flip genders and serve as Salvation Army housing for women only. Now the Pod Hotel will be a co-ed destination, where men and women can meet at the rooftop lounge and grab a seat on one of the red terra cotta benches along the roof's edge, beneath the ivy that is being encouraged to grow 19 stories above Murray Hill. Although occupancy rates at the (original) Pod 51 average 93% and he knows there are times when the hotel could charge more for rooms, Bernstein said that they are committed to holding below a $300-a-night price point to protect the hotel's image as a cool, but reasonable and relaxed destination.
· Pod 39 [thepodhotel.com]
· The Allerton 39th Street House [nyc.gov]