Is Hotel Saturation Ruining New York City?

Posted on: November 14th, 2017 at 5:15 am by

Last month, the city released its Hotel Development Report outlining the influx of new hotels (citywide) since 2015. Here on the Lower East Side, in particular, 6 new lodges debuted within that timeframe and another 6 are on the way, equating to some 2,000 rooms.

The trend of hotel glut served as subject for a scathing summation by Steve Cuozzo over at the New York Post. His thesis – over-saturation of lodges is ruining New York City.

He cites data showing a twofold increase in rooms since 2008 (i.e. from approximately 76,400 to 115,000).

Cuozzo also singles out the Hotel 50 Bowery for looming “like a wayward dragon over low-rise Chinatown.”

The new Hotel 50 Bowery, at that address, has a fine place to eat and a rooftop lounge with eye-popping views. But its 21-story glass façade looms like a wayward dragon over low-rise Chinatown. Its near-300 rooms will flood the compact, colorful district with big spenders certain to overwhelm its exotic but fragile chemistry.

Others offer too many places to eat and drink — as in the Chelsea/Meatpacking District area, where 24-hour party scenes spill from the Standard, Dream and Maritime hotels’ roof bars, underground discos and beer gardens. Although plans haven’t been fully revealed, the under-construction Virgin Hotel on Broadway at 28th Street will likely add to that area’s oversaturation, putting eateries and lounges near those already at the Ace and NoMad hotels.

The most irksome new hotels are the ones built mainly to help developers sell luxury condos in the towers on top of them. The Park Hyatt on West 57th Street has a mere 210 guest rooms, The Four Seasons on Barclay Street 189 rooms, and the Baccarat on East 53rd Street just 114 — to provide “five-star hotel services” to the oligarchs who dwell above them. [What about the Public Hotel on Chrystie Street?]

Real-estate developers shouldn’t take too much comfort in Manhattan’s nation-high occupancy of near-90 percent and the flood of foreign visitors. How much guests pay for their rooms matters, too. Thanks to mushrooming over-supply, nightly room rates are down 10-20 percent over two years ago. So is “RevPAR,” or revenue per available room — the gold-standard metric of success.

Recent Stories

Breaking: Person Struck by Subway at East Broadway [Updated]

Shortly after 12pm, a straphanger standing at the East Broadway station and was struck by a northbound train. Apparently the victim “fell” into the oncoming train. All F train service to Queens is delayed indefinitely. Emergency personnel responded and carted the victim on a stretcher. We’re told that he is “okay.” Power to the third […]

Clayton’s Corner: Of Generations and Gentrification [PHOTOS]

As the unrelenting winds of the international corporate gentrification keeps eroding away the deep, rich, soil of our culture, it also disposes of “neighborhood” and “community.” It affects both collective memory and history. For example: changing the name of PS 122 into Performance Space New York obliterates the connection to the previous 30-year history. Another […]

Rumor: McNally’s ‘Cherche Midi’ to Close by Summertime

Renowned restaurateur Keith McNally last week sold his West Village townhouse for $10.3 million. Elsewhere, his Bowery hangout is rumored to shutter. Word on the street is that Cherche Midi, the three-year-old successor to Pulino’s Pizzeria is on the way out. A tipster tells us that management began telling staff of the impending closure – […]

East Broadway Walkup Fetches $7M

The East Broadway corridor adjacent to Essex Crossing is heating up. Case in point: the five-story tenement at 215 East Broadway, near Clinton Street, just traded hands for the princely price of $7 million. According to the city’s public transactions database, the buyer of record is apparently a resident of the adjacent building, named Ms. Wang. […]

Discovery of Asbestos at 85 Bowery Delays Return of Displaced Tenants

The discovery of asbestos during rehabilitation efforts at 85 Bowery has thrown a wrench in the timeline of return for exiled tenants. Roughly one hundred tenants (mostly low-income) remain homeless, now two months after the city ordered their eviction. This is all part of the latest chapter in a nasty dispute with controversial landlord Joseph […]