Monday, January 30, 2012

Andre Balazs really wants to be a good neighbor

[June 2009]

In The Wall Street Journal today, Andre Balazs shares more insights about his plans for the Cooper Square Hotel The Standard East Village.

To an excerpt!

You said the previous owners "miscalculated." What do you consider their biggest mistakes?

The way it was developed and built was completely misconceived in terms of its use as a public space and in terms of its relation to the neighborhood. It's a very residential community and they managed to make a design that pissed off the neighbors immediately. That's a mistake. That's not what we're going to be about.

We're going to reorient in a different direction. By mid-fall it'll be open differently, with an emphasis on public spaces. Good hotels are a center of their community, and you can't be the center of a community if the person next door to you can't sleep.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

So he plans on tearing down the hotel? Great!

abrod said...

I'm going to go ahead and consider myself cautiously optimistic on this one - seems like he went out of his way to note the issues people have had with the hotel. We'll see...
(Full disclosure: I don't live near enough to the hotel for it to directly affect me though)

Bowery Boogie said...

lip service for the locals.

Goggla said...

@Anon 3:50 - haha!

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a smooth operator! What I want to know is, does he like his martinis shaken, not stirred?

Anonymous said...

honestly, i live on 5th between 2nd and Bowery, only a few doors down from the Cooper/Standard. I've lived on this block for over a year now. I have not once been bothered by Cooper patrons "keeping me up", and the Cooper sky balcony thing hangs over my building more or less.

I always took more issue with the fact that the hotel seemed like an impenetrable fortress. Completely uninviting, even the restaurant portion at the Trilby seemed like some members only affair. And it wasn't. I could have walked into the Trilby anytime I wanted to drink 16$ cocktails, but something about the look of it was just so off. I also absolutely loathed the chalk sign they used in the summer advertising their Pimm's Cups and Gimlets. Just obnoxious.

I would think the Standard being involved would try and up the hotel's nightlife ante, which as it stands now, seems to me to be zero. You don't have DJs spinning at the Cooper and lines around the corner on Saturday nights. You do at the Standard Meatpacking.

So, hopefully Balasz opens the common areas of the hotel up to the neighborhood. That 6 foot wooden fence is not very inviting, neither is the Trilby entrance, the main hotel entrance, or those stairs up to the raised outdoor area.

Keep the nightlife there as dim as it is now (or even a little bit reasonably louder!) and open the common spaces to neighbors and i really have no complaints, other than the fact that its a big ugly out of place eyesore, but nothings gonna change that.

Jeremiah Moss said...

Anon, 3:50--if only!

we'll see what the Backsiders have to say about this come summertime.

Anonymous said...

the residents on 5th street insisted on the wall.

bowery boy said...

AB should not have any immediate plans - Astor place is about to go through years of renovations. What tourist is gonna want to try sleeping through that? It's an ugly building in the wrong neighborhood, and will be a money losing machine until it is sold to one of the universities for a dorm. sad.

Anonymous said...

Well, I live right next door to it, and I like it. I find it aesthetically pleasing (in contrast to the Astor Place monstrosity), I like the outdoor seating and the garden.

So not all neighbors hate the hotel.

- East Village Slav

glamma said...

boy did anon say it right - an ugly building in the wrong neighborhood.
maybe AB is smart enought to know that if he continues to destroy the very fibre of the neighborhood with this yuppie crap, the EV will entirely cease to be hot, and he will lose money.
btw, Cooper Union should get the worst neighbor award for all their greedy, anti-neighborhood actions over the past few years. it is just awful what they have done, and what they are still trying to do. for shame!