Covering Battery Park City

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One of the entrances to the Conrad Hotel opens onto Goldman Sachs alley. The hotel, at 102 North End Ave., is slated to open on March 19. It has 463 guest rooms. Photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER  |  Conrad New York hotel opening: The Conrad New York hotel at 102 North End Ave. on the site of the former Embassy Suites hotel opens on March 19 after a complete makeover. It has 463 guest rooms, all of them suites, a Mediterranean restaurant called Atrio whose executive chef, Anthony Zamora, was formerly at the Four Seasons, a rooftop terrace with views of the Hudson River that will be open for drinks and light meals from May through October, two ballrooms, a host of meeting rooms and other amenities.

The restaurant and rooftop terrace will be open to people who are not staying at the hotel as well, of course, to those who are.

The smallest suite at the Conrad is 430 square feet and rents for $249 a night on weekends through September. The weekday rate is $369. The largest suites are 750 square feet or more. All are decorated in tones of beige, brown and off-whites with extensive use of frosted glass and blonde woods. All suites have showers with rainfall shower heads and the larger suites also have tubs.

The hotel has one Presidential Suite of 1,500 square feet and eight suites in the “Luxury” category, with dining rooms, large, private bedrooms and large living rooms.

Goldman Sachs owns the building but Hilton Worldwide manages the hotel. Conrad hotels are the luxury brand in the Hilton chain. The Battery Park City hotel is the fifth Conrad in the United States and will be the flagship. (The other U.S. Conrad hotels are in Miami, Indianapolis, Chicago and San Juan, P.R.) The Conrad brand is widely known overseas, with hotels in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and South America.

The Tribeca Film Festival has already booked the larger of the Conrad New York’s two ballrooms for its award ceremonies in April, and bookings are brisk for the hotel’s first week, according to a Conrad spokesperson.

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Conrad artwork: Sol LeWitt’s iconic drawing “Loopy Doopy (blue and purple),” which was a fixture in the old Embassy Suites, returns to pride of place in Conrad New York. The work, which dates from 1999, hangs over the reception desk in the second floor lobby of the hotel.

It is 100 feet long and 80 feet tall and was created by LeWitt with the help of 50 assistants in a studio at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Taking a cue from the vibrant swirls of “Loopy Doopy,” artist Monica Ponce de Leon has created sculptural lighting fixtures for the Conrad lobby that will glow at night. She calls them “Veils.”

Conrad New York has more than 2,000 works of art hanging in public spaces and in the guest rooms. They are the work of Imi Knoebel, Mary Heilmann, Elizabeth Peyton and Sara Sosnowy, among others. The artists were selected by the Public Art Fund. The hotel has produced a brochure about the artists represented in the collection, and eventually plans to offer art tours of the hotel’s holdings.

Murray Street paving: Murray Street between North End Avenue and West Street is scheduled for repaving beginning next month. The Battery Park City Authority is overseeing the 13-week project.

“More extensive than milling the top layer of asphalt and replacing it, this will involve rebuilding the concrete base as well,” said Matthew Monahan, spokesman for the Authority. “A concrete bus pad also is planned, which both lasts longer than asphalt and provides stronger material to hold the weight of the vehicles. The road will not be closed. Traffic will be diverted around the construction work.”

New trash compactor: Battery Park City currently has two trash compactors, which have proven extremely helpful in keeping the rat population at bay. A third trash compactor will be installed this spring at Site 23 on North End Avenue.

“At present, 19 residential buildings are in the program,” said Monahan. “Their trash is brought to the other compactors and prepared for pick-up by the Sanitation Department. That removes the solid waste from curbside, which is an attractive feeding ground for rats. The program works and it is at no cost to building owners and residents. We hope more buildings will sign on.”

Those that have not are largely in the middle section of Battery Park City, including Gateway Plaza and the buildings surrounding Rector Park. Neither of the existing trash compactors is close enough to these buildings to make it convenient to transport trash to them. The new trash compactor will also not be close enough to serve this part of the B.P.C. community.

Town Hall meeting: In November 2011, Battery Park City Authority president Gayle Horwitz conducted the first of what she said would be quarterly Town Hall meetings during which Battery Park City residents could ask questions and raise concerns. The second Town Hall meeting will take place on March 29 at 6 p.m. at 6 River Terrace.

To comment on Battery Park City Beat or to suggest article ideas, email TereseLoeb@mac.com.

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