5 Beekman- Nice Building, Better Air Rights
Late last week, news came out that the well known sale of 5 Beekman Street had closed.  The Full Story below tells us that the Chetrit Group and Bonjour Capital finally stopped suing each other (last item) and got around to selling the building.  Purchased by GB Lodging for $64M, the plan is to turn the property into a 297 room/90 residence hotel.  Judging from the existing atrium, possibly one of the best looking hotels in NYC.
It is unclear at this point if the redevelopment plans include any expansion.  The 297/90 plan of the existing 128k+SF building, only yields a tight 331SF per room.  There is plenty of space to expand into if needed, as the existing landmarked building only makes use of 57% of it's as-of-right FAR.  With that amount of free SF available, 5 Beekman has to be looking at selling some of that unused development space to it's neighbors.
Landmarked buildings with available air rights have a bit more latitude in terms of how far those rights can be transferred.  Down the block, or across the street are precedented possibilities.
This would likely have been an easy sale to the 30 story residential tower going up at 113 Nassau, had they not already built footings.  132 Nassau Street is another possibility.  Perennially underutilized since it's purchase in the late 60's by the JW Realty Company, 132 Nassau seems ripe for development.
However it is played, GB Lodging has the possibility of developing one of most dramatic hotels in NYC and offsetting some of it's investment with the value of the untapped development rights.

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