Peter Poon to Design 31-Story Hotel at 120 Water Street, Financial District

120 Water Street, image from Massey Knakal120 Water Street, image from Massey Knakal

Two old brownstones on oddly-shaped lots in lower Manhattan are set to give way to a 31-story limited service hotel, according to a new building permit application submitted this morning for 120 Water Street.

The filing, by Peter Poon on behalf of developer Lihui Lo with an LLC by the name of NY Times Square Hotel Group, calls for a 150-key hotel to be erected on the site of two narrow walkup buildings. The plans call for five or six hotel rooms on the first through 29th floors, with mechanical equipment filling out the last two floors and rooftop spaces.

The Peter Poon creation would rise next door to the Gene Kaufman-designed Holiday Inn Express, at 126 Water Street, between Wall and Pine. The whole city – from the South Bronx to Sunset Park – is in the midst of a budget hotel boom, but lower Manhattan is especially hot, with tourists pouring in to see the World Trade Center and other sites. Unlike the Garment District, this part of lower Manhattan is zoned for both residential and commercial uses (though the former at lower densities than the latter), meaning that the developer chose willingly to build a hotel rather than apartments.

While the asking price for the parcels was nearly $20 million, they eventually sold earlier this year for just $15 million. At almost $315 per buildable square foot, the transaction still netted the sellers – who bought the buildings in 2006 for just $3.9 million – a fairly hefty chunk of change.

While no demolition permits have been filed for the existing structures, a number of follow-up applications – for foundation, mechanical, and plumbing work – were submitted along with the new building permit, suggesting that construction may not be far off.

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