Larry Silverstein Finally Puts The First Shovel In The Ground For $1 Billion Downtown Four Seasons Hotel Project

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CEO Summit at NYU

Larry Silverstein / Getty

Larry Silverstein, the CEO of Silverstein Properties, held a ceremony on Tuesday to finally launch construction of his new 926 foot high residential and hotel property at 30 Park Place in the Tribeca district of Lower Manhattan. Four Seasons Hotel will be the hotel component and the luxury condominiums included in the project will be branded Four Seasons as well.

The project has been a long time in gestation, with an earlier ground breaking taking place as long ago as 2008, only for the project to be deferred not long afterwards in the ensuing financial melt-down. Silverstein Properties did manage to put in the foundations first, however, which allows them to now get going again much more quickly.

Having bought the land without a mortgage, through its Metro Fund joint venture with the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), Silverstein Properties was quite content to wait until better times which now seem to be returning.

Financing for the project is now completely in place, with the UK’s Children’s Investment Fund putting up the US$ 1billion needed, the project already has its building permits and is now officially in construction as of two days ago. It should be finished and ready to open in 2016.

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Four Seasons New York Downtown Hotel Lobby Rendering courtesy of Silverstein Properties

At the ceremony Larry Silverstein was quite exuberant, saying: “The day it opens, Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown will be the top hotel and condominium building in Tribeca, ”…“ Downtown is fast becoming a vibrant, integrated, mixed-use destination on a scale not seen in New York City since Rockefeller Center in 1939.”

The hotel project is close to the new World Trade Center, the second and third towers of which are also now close to completion as well. The underground transportation hub and retail concourse there are on course to open by 2015. Hence the two developments are likely to have considerable synergy between them once the normal patterns of business and private life resume in the neighbourhood again when it is all done, though with an after five o’clock element as well for the first time.

Craig Reid, President of hotel operations in the Americas for Four Seasons Hotels, said at the ceremony the new Downtown Four Seasons would be the best one in North America. He said it would also be the first one in New York that the hotel has actually helped design from the ground up.

“We’re going to embrace a lot of the qualities of yesterday, ” he said, …. “We want to honor the character of the neighborhood, the flavor of the town, the locals, and yet we want to bring in a level of service and a level of residential experience that hasn’t been seen in New York and in Lower Manhattan prior.”

“Come back in three years and buy an apartment, ” Silverstein added, referring to the 157 luxury condos that Four Seasons will also run, together with the 189 hotel room hotel.

This is a heavy weight project with all the top players, and indeed they all showed up in force for the ceremony on Tuesday for their own individual sound bites.

“All of us at Silverstein Properties are proud to play a role in creating what will be one of the most impactful and iconic buildings in New York, ” said Marty Burger, Co-CEO of Silverstein Properties – who is the younger half of Silverstein Properties executive team. he continued : “We have assembled a dream team of partners including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts – the premier operator of luxury hotels worldwide, Robert A.M. Stern Architects – one of the world’s leading architectural design firms and Corcoran Sunshine, New York’s most influential marketing and sales firm for luxury residential development.”

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Four Seasons New York Downtown Hotel Grand Staircase rendring courtesy of Silverstein Properties

Vic Bucchere is Managing Director and Head of Acquisitions for CBRE Global Investors, CalSTRS’ investment adviser – CalSTRS put up the money originally to buy the land remember. He said, …“CalSTRS is extremely happy with the collaboration through the Metro Fund with Silverstein Properties and its financing partner, the Children’s Investment Fund”. After all this time he certainly should be happy to see the project coming to fruition so nicely.

Martin Frass-Ehrfeld is a Partner at the Children’s Investment Fund Management (UK) LLP, so he is the man now putting up the US$1 billion to get the job finished, so he also deserves be listened to carefully, and he said,

“TCI is excited to provide financing to a pristine group of partners for what will be the highest quality hotel and residential building in Downtown Manhattan. This project perfectly fits our investment strategy in New York City, which includes other high-end residential projects such as 432 Park Avenue and 737 Park Avenue.”

Robert A.M. Stern Architects is the design architect for the building. They are designing every aspect of the private residence floor plans and interiors. The hotel will be operated by Four Seasons Hotels with interiors designed by Yabu Pushelberg. The private residences will be managed as 30 Park Place, Four Seasons Private Residences New York Downtown.

SLCE Architects is the Architect-of-Record. Tishman Construction, which built 7 World Trade Center for Silverstein Properties in 2006, and is the general contractor for Silverstein’s 3 and 4 World Trade Center, is serving as general contractor on the project.

Finally the man who will make it beautiful, Robert A.M. Stern, founder and senior partner of Robert A.M. Stern Architects and Dean of the Yale School of Architecture said “30 Park Place will counterpoint the glass-and-steel office towers that Larry Silverstein and his organization are building along Greenwich Street. Together these buildings will help Downtown Manhattan realize its potential as one of the best places to live and work in the country. I am proud to be a part of this effort.”

When you consider the many different sets of resources that have to be put together to make something like this all come together, with the intricacies, complexities and adversities that happen along the way it becomes crystal that this cannot be just about money. The people doing all this love their work and it certainly shows;

New York City and its residents, its workers, its visitors and their subsequent generations will be the long-term beneficiaries long after all the profits are earned, the dividends are paid and the money has been spent.

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 Rendering : 30 Park Place . Four Seasons Hotel .courtesy of Silverstein Properties

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