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Wharton Properties Looks To Redevelop Midtown Manhattan Retail Building Into A Hotel

32 West 34th St.

A prominent retail landlord is hoping to convert one of his storefronts into another type of property that has experienced pandemic pain.

Jeff Sutton's Wharton Properties submitted plans with the city to build a hotel at 25 West 34th St., across the street from the Empire State Building, PincusCo. Media reports

Sutton proposes to build 363 rooms and ground-floor retail to replace the three-level retail building, currently subleased to fashion brand Superdry, which signed a seven-year deal in 2016, Commercial Observer reported at the time.

The plan will need to be reviewed and approved by the Department of Buildings before construction can start, per the city's permit review process. Wharton Properties didn't respond to Bisnow’s request for comment. 

Sutton's firm owns dozens of retail properties in some of the most popular shopping destinations in Manhattan, including along Fifth Avenue, 125th Street, 34th Street and Times Square. It also owns retail properties around the outer boroughs. 

The pivot for this property comes amid a hard time for both retail and hospitality, but the road to full recovery is more clear for hotels. NYC & Co. recently released a report that showed nearly half the number of tourists to visit the city in 2019 are set to come to the city this year with a full recovery expected by 2024, Breaking Travel News reported.

“It's heading in the right direction, because you're so far down, there's only one way to go, and that's up,” Hotel Association of New York City CEO Vijay Dandapani told Bisnow last month.

Retail property values have also seen a drop, but the future of its recovery is not as certain — some 80,000 storefronts are expected to close over the next five years as many consumers turn to e-commerce. 

Related Topics: Jeff Sutton, Wharton Properties