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Afternoon News Notes: Another Hotel, Chatham Square Money

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Photo by Michelle Campo

A couple of items percolating online this afternoon, including:

  • The announcement from Brack Capital that it has made a deal with CitizenM, a Dutch Hotel chain, to build a 315 room “budget luxury” hotel at 185-191 Bowery. In February of last year, we posted some photos (see above) depicting the demolition of an historic townhouse at 185 Bowery, giving Brack four adjacent parcels. Today Curbed reports: (All of) “the rooms have wall to wall windows, LCD flatscreens, rainshowers, a bed as ‘big as your dreams’, and rooms that are controlled by a ‘mood pad’ and can change colors.” Construction is supposed to begin in a couple of months.  Brack has been busy of late; last week they announced plans to finally move ahead with plans for yet another LES hotel at 180 Orchard, one of the neighborhood’s most notorious stalled construction sites.
  • A formal acknowledgement from the city that $30 million devoted to the reconstruction of Chatham Square has been diverted to other projects. Community organizers fought vigorously against the proposal because it would have meant the permanent closure of Park Row. Months ago, city officials said the reconstruction plan had been indefinitely postponed due to the refurbishing of the Brooklyn Bridge (working on the two projects at the same time would have caused chaos for downtown commuters). DOT officials now tell DNA Info at least some of the money will likely be used to manage the buses serving the 9/11 Memorial (opening in September). The “city would be open to additional uses for the Chatham Square money. Two other ideas… mentioned were repairs to Pier 42 on the Lower East Side and minor beautification and pedestrian safety improvements to Chatham Square itself,” the story indicated. Ten years after 9/11, the NYPD has refused to reopen Park Row, in spite of widespread complaints from Chinatown residents and local elected officials, who say the closure is a serious hardship for the community.
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