"You Chose Well."
If Ashwin Verma and Saif Sumaida’s business venture was an Indiana Jones movie, that's what the guardian of the Holy Grail would have told them. Their company, Siras Development, anticipated the High Line’s big impact while others dismissed it. Following the success of the 56-key Hotel Americano, where we snapped Ashwin (Siras bought the garage site in ’07 and delivered a month before the High Line’s Phase 2 opened in 2011), the company has two bigger projects in the neighborhood.
Coming in 2016: the 120k SF Soori High Line condos two blocks north at 522 W 29th St. The unit count is small (27 across 11 floors totaling more than 100k SF), but Siras is taking advantage of the manageable scale to create a truly unique property. One example: heated pools in 16 of the units (hint: that's not a hallway in this rendering). Helping the cause is the fact that renowned Asian architect Soo K. Chian is on board. Ashwin’s philosophy is that each building Siras develops is a business card for the company. Plus, New York can absorb special projects, he says.
In 2017, Siras will deliver its largest project ever: the 400k SF Hudson Rise hotel and condos at 462-470 11th Ave. At 47 stories with 18-foot ceilings, the building will soar to 700 feet, featuring 350 hotel rooms and 50 residences. The fifth floor will be a sky lobby for the hotel, but Siras hasn’t decided yet whether the first three floors will be hotel amenities or retail. Vertical retail would be new for the area if the company can swing it, but Hudson Yards, the 7 train extension, and the High Line make it a good prospect, Ashwin says. Siras is building the property with Chinese development partner Kuafu Properties. It’ll be designed by Archilier Architecture.
Siras is a fan of big-name architects. Enrique Norten designed Hotel Americano after the developer used the then-unknown Enrique for the 17-unit 580 Carroll St condos in Park Slope (above). The developer also does construction management in house (Saif’s specialty), advancing its ability to do unique buildings.