C.B. 1 sees plans for new Tribeca hotel

By Elizabeth O’Brien

Downtown Express photo by Ramin Talaie

Sources say actor Robert De Niro is one of the investors in the proposed hotel on Greenwich St.

A new hotel is slated for construction at the corner of Greenwich and N. Moore Sts., on a lot now used for parking.

Representatives from the Downtown Hotel, L.L.C. presented their plans last Monday night at a meeting of the Landmarks Committee of C.B. 1. Using visual aids that included a 4’ by 3’ stone and brick wall, the project’s architects and landmarks consultant showed how the six-story hotel would harmonize with the Tribeca landscape.

Deeply recessed windows with operable wooden shutters were among the details featured in the presentation for the proposed building at 377-383 Greenwich St.

“It’s so contextual, it’s amazing,” said Bruce Ehrmann, chairperson of the landmarks committee.

The hotel’s owners were not present at the meeting. Neighborhood real estate sources say actor Robert De Niro is one of the investors in the project, which is next door to his Tribeca Grill restaurant, but representatives did not confirm this. Members of Downtown Hotel, L.L.C. did not respond to several requests for information about the hotel project.

The concept behind the 80-room hotel takes inspiration from the Chambers Hotel, a boutique hotel on W. 56th St., representatives said last Monday. Richard Born, developer of the Chambers, Mercer and Maritime hotels, said he was involved in the Tribeca project. Representatives did not answer a question about the room rates, but it is likely that the hotel will cater to an upscale clientele.

The developers hope to begin construction within the next few months. Some doubted whether a hotel would flourish in the current economic downturn.

“I hear the travel business is tanking, but they keep building hotels,” said Judy Duffy, assistant district manager for C.B. 1, in a telephone interview afterward.

Even so, Duffy said that the hotel would probably not have a negative impact on the neighborhood. Hotel use is allowed under the area’s zoning laws.

The main hotel entrance would be on Greenwich St., with the service entrance on N. Moore. There would be a restaurant on the lower level, representatives said.

Members of C.B. 1’s landmarks committee decided against passing a resolution in support of the hotel, instead asking the presenters to return next month with diagrams showing how the hotel would fit into the streetscape.

Presenters are not required to come before the committee again — the community board acts solely in an advisory capacity — but committee members said that the project might fare better before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission if it had the strong support of C.B. 1. The hotel site is part of the Tribeca West Historic District, so the city’s landmarks commission must okay the design.

One architect indicated afterwards that they would likely return before the committee. “We want to have a working relationship with the community board—it’s in everyone’s best interest,” said Matt Markowitz, the architect overseeing construction.

Bill Higgins, the project’s landmarks consultant, said that Downtown Hotel, L.L.C. plans to go before the Landmarks Preservation Commission later this month.



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