Here’s something to look forward to in September. We’re likely to learn more about plans by the owners of the Jarmulowsky Bank Building to open a hotel in the 12-story, landmark-protected property.
The property at 54 Canal St./9 Orchard St. was purchased in 2011 by DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners for $33 million. Local architect Ron Castellano has been overseeing a painstaking renovation of the building during the past several years. Earlier this month, a gigantic crane was brought in to hoist the framework for a 50-foot domed spire to the roof. Original plans called for a hotel, but DLJ shifted gears last year, floating the idea of leasing the building for offices and retail.
Now the hotel concept is back on. The development team planned to go before Community Board 3 in August, seeking support for a liquor license. The application has now been pulled. You can expect it to re-emerge in September.
According to sketchy information available on CB3’s website, a full liquor permit is being requested on behalf of Sixth Avenue Restaurant Management. That’s the LLC associated with L’Amico, the Italian-ish restaurant from Laurent Tourondel at the Eventi Hotel on 6th Avenue (at 30th Street). Tourondel’s publicist did not reply to a request for comment. The contact name on the application is Steven Carter, managing director at DLJ. The application indicates the restaurant or restaurants would include live music.
According to Department of Buildings records, the first floor of the hotel will include a restaurant and bar. There’s also a bar and lounge on the second floor. Hotel rooms are located on floors 3-12, and there’s an “accessory lounge” on the top floor.
The Jarmulowsky is known as, “Nine Orchard Street” on DLJ’s website. “The investment strategy,” the developers note, “is to complete an extensive rehabilitation to convert the property into an upscale, independent hotel.” Here’s more:
The neighborhood around the property is rapidly improving. The property’s distinctive architectural character and full block presence allow for an impactful, authentic redevelopment. DLJ RECP’s investment theme in Nine Orchard Street is similar to other properties in our portfolio – we identify underperforming assets in neighborhoods positioned for sustained growth. In this case, we believe that our redevelopment of Nine Orchard Street will further catalyze the improvement of the surrounding neighborhood.
The surrounding neighborhood has, of course, changed a lot since DLJ purchased the Jarmulowsky Bank property six years ago. Division Street and Canal Street have become restaurant/nightlife hot spots. The SPaCE Block Association is active in this area and can be expected to weigh in on the proposed liquor license/licenses.
In a 2015 prospectus for foreign investors of an unrelated project, DLJ said the development costs for the Lower East Side building were $90 million. The deep-pocketed firm is sparing no expense to restore the Jarmulowsky to its former glory. That will likely count for something with the community board, but members of the liquor licensing committee are sure to have some tough questions for the applicants about the scale of their nightlife operations.
DLJ did not respond to our request for comment.