Daily News from New York, New York on June 20, 1979 · 602
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Daily News from New York, New York · 602

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Wednesday, June 20, 1979
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DAILY NEWS, WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 1979 V7 I ' v 7 fe i jpj ii mninn-niT ; m """"" ' 1 1 nf. .rtr.Tiii: j aattmaawg' I Sketch of new 2,020-room Portman Hotel. By OWEN MORITZ Construction of the 2,020-room. $240 million Portman Hotel, the world's largest hotel, which is destined as a centerpiece in Times Square's revival, will start Jan. 1, assuming an elaborate financing package is fully in place, its builder said yesterday. When completed in 1983, the hotel will stand 52 stories high and contain a 1,500-seat theater to replace the Helen Hayes and Morosco Theaters, which are being razed for the structure. It will also contain a 40-story atrium, several revolving restaurants and one lobby restaurant that will jut 13 feet over the sidewalk into the planned new Broadway Mall. The hotel, which will rise at Broadway from 45th to 46th Sts., is expected to be the flagship for the Trust Houses Forte Hotels, the vast worldwide hotel company that operates Travelogues motels in the U.S. The Portman Hotel, named after its builder, hotel impresario John Portman of Atlanta, has been in the works for seven years and at least twice in its history plans were dropped because of an inability to find sufficient financing and because of the city's sluggish economy in the mid-1970s. But now, given a record 87.5 hotel occupancy here and an elaborate new financing scheme, a setup that involves New York City and state agencies as distant partners, the project won renewed approval from a key local board, Planning Board 5, Monday night The hotel will provide 2,000 permanent jobs. Hotel rooms will rent at $84 per night. Reached in Atlanta, an associate of Portman said: "We couldn't be more bullish right now on the hotel, on the cityThis is the time for us to move." . The city has already announced that a four-block stretch of Broadway from 45th to 49th Sts. will be turned into a. mall, with Broadway traffic channeled into a widened Seventh Ave. A key element in the financing scheme is the role the state Urban Development Corp. and the city's Economic Development Administration will play. Some' $180 million in financing will come from a consortium of banks and insurance companies; about $45 million will come in equity from Portman and another $15 million is projected as a federal urban development grant. The state will in effect own the property and will be a party to the financing scheme this will mean -Port-man will pay rent in lieu of taxes and bring his overhead down. The city is also providing investment incentives. 5th Avenue gets frill on its bonnet By DONALD SINGLETON Fifth Ave. got its face washed yester- day. From the Public Library at 42d St., all the way to the Plaza Hotel af Central Park South, the city's best-known shopping boulevard was lined with scaffolds and steam-cleaning machines, as workmen shined up the facades of dozens of stores, banks and other commercial buildings. The occasion was the annual spring cleanup sponsored by the Remco Maintenance Corp. in cooperation with the Fifth Avenue Association. When they pull together "Wait'll you see this stuff sparkle," said Pete Buzzolani, 45, of Scarsdale, as he scrubbed the marble of Doubleday's book store at 53d St and other workers polished the brass Gucci sign next door. Although the individual merchants contracted wih Remco to pay for the jobs, the biggest job of the day a complete cleanup of the front of the Public Library was a freebie. Remco donated the cost of the work, worth about $4,000, to the city. "We do it as a way of smbolizing how much can be accomplished when every- Mayor Koch and Parks Commissioner Gordon Davis oversee operation as steps of Publi body pulls together," said Brian Mar- ael Grosso, executive vice president of lowe, president of Remco. the Fifth Avenue Associstion. Mayor Koch and Parks Commissioner . "Terrific," says mayor Gordon Davis stopped off at the library v' "I just wanted to come out here and yesterday to admire the results of the say it's terrific what you're doing," said cleanup and to thank Marlowe and Mich- Koch, whose visit was unscheduled. Bill TumbullDailv ic Library get a cleaning. "The businessmen are terrific, and it's not all charitable, either it's good business." "I think it's only right that we should keep the street nice and clean," said Grosso. "After all. Fifth Ave. is the city's front room. We want our visitors to have a good impression of us." Landlords seek more raises and tenants bare teeth By MARTIN GOTTLIEB Landlords of hundreds of thousands of rent-stabilized apartments, who had already asked for the largest increases ever on leases to be signed in the year beginning July 1, requested still further hikes yesterday in buildings built before 1947 and in apartments rented to new tenants. The proposals were bitterly denounced by tenant groups. Citing sharply higher fuel costs in the pre-1947 buildings, which constitute about 584,000 of the estimated 912,000 rent-stabilized units, William Moses, chairman of the Community Housing Improvement Program, a major landlord organization, asked the Rent Guidelines Board to approve special fuel surcharges in the older buildings. He asked-for $3-per-room, $3.78-per-room, and $4.65-per-room on one, two and three-year leases. In addition, the Rent Stabilization Association, made up of 14,000 landlords, asked the board to allow increases of 15 above guidelines for lease renewals on apartment turnovers. Now, they are allowed an additional 5. The requests, made at a meeting of the guidelines board in the auditorium -at 1 Police Plaza, come in addition to previously requested rent ceilings of 11.5, 15.5, and 20 on one, two, and three year leases. Ceilings expiring at the end of the month are 4.5, 6.5, and- 8.5 on one, two, and three-year leases with additional percentages to cover increasing fuel costs. Tenant leaders, offering statistics showing an ever greater chunk of tenant income going for rent and that past rent increases allowed by the board significantly outstripped actual increases in operating and maintenance expenses, argued that despite increased costs to owners last year, there should be no rent boosts. Landmark status gets support Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and other prominent New Yorkers lent their support yesterday to a drive to designate a large chunk of Manhattan's fashionable upper East Side a historic district At a day-long hearing, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission heard more than 75 speakers, most of whom supported the proposal that nearly all of the area bounded by Fifth Ave. and Lexington Ave. and 59th and 79th Sts. be declared a historic district Such designation would mean that any alterations to , buildings or new construction would have to be approved by the commission. The commission will decide on the landmark status in October. Vincent Cosgrove "We think increases in the numbers they have proposed are extortionate, unreasonable and blatantly inflationarv." said John McKean. co-chairman of the Coalition Against Rent Increase Pass-Alongs. He said increases should orily be given to landlords who apply for hardship increases and need the money and that in no case should they exceed those allowable under the Carter Administration's wage-price guidelines. Landlord representatives contended the increases were necessary to compensate for "double-digit inflation" and sky-: rocketing fuel costs and to generate more housing construction in New York "The sharp increases we ask are not for the sake of profit" Stabilization Association Chairman Sheldon Katz told the board, arguing that they were necessary to curb the "destruction of housing stock and the bankruptcy of the city." Association Counsel Arthur Richtenthal contended rents had risen more slowly than the cost of living.

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