Monday, January 22, 2007
PLAZA TO MARK 100 By STEVE CUOZZO - Business - New York Post Online Edition
These are auspicious times for the exciting developments at the new Plaza Hotel.
PRAISE Eloise - New Yorkers will get an autumn present on Oct. 1, with a gala reopening ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the lavishly reconfigured Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue.
But what's inside the gift wrapping will be a surprise, at least until announcements are made over the next few months.
Although Elad Properties President Miki Naftali expects "all" of the landmark's 160,000 square feet of retail space on six different levels to be leased by then, and its restaurants open, he's keeping the wraps on what stores and eateries will actually move in.
Three months ago, Naftali told Women's Wear Daily that letters of intent - not leases - had been signed with a batch of unidentified, high-end stores.
Yesterday, he told us, "We have some signed leases and hope to have about 30-35 percent of the entire space leased by the end of this month."
There are letters of intent for both the Oak Room restaurant and the Grand Ballroom but not completed contracts yet. Naftali said the "deals are very complicated" because "they involve a lot of cooperation involving the infrastructure of the building."
Elad and leasing agent Robert K. Futterman have, remarkably, maintained secrecy in a town where news of lease negotiations travels at the speed of light; word has yet to leak out of even a single prospective deal.
Elad bought the failing hotel in 2004 for $675 million and is spending $350 million more on restoration and redesign to bring it into the modern world.