1vanderbilt

Rendering of One Vanderbilt: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

SL Green Realty Corp.’s One Vanderbilt in Midtown East could get an equally massive neighbor, courtesy of the anticipated Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning.

Howard Milstein is planning on developing a fresh new project with a possible hotel component at 335 Madison Avenue, replacing the 1.1 million-square-foot office building at the site, the New York Post reported.

The existing Bank of America Plaza building, erected in 1984, is itself a replacement of the classic 1913 Biltmore Hotel. Designed by Warren and Wetmore, the same firm behind the adjoining Grand Central Terminal, the lavish hotel was graced by buzzy restaurants such as the Palm and the Cascades, a winter skating rink on the garden roof and Turkish baths in the basement. The hotel also had its own arrival station inside Grand Central, with elevator access to the lobby; the arrival room was nicknamed “The Kissing Room,” because couples would reunite there and proceed to the Biltmore Palm Court for lunch or a drink.

The hotel stopped running in August 1981, when it was quietly gutted by owners Paul Milstein and Seymour Milstein, despite its landmark status. The Milstein family then built a new structure around the steel skeleton of the Biltmore, placing the hotel’s iconic lobby clock in the redevelopment.

The Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning, which has nearly completed the city planning process, would permit a building of 30 FAR with bonuses. KPF-designed One Vanderbilt, still in the planning stages, would measure 1.8 million square feet.

“We hope that the project at 335 Madison Avenue will follow the example set at One Vanderbilt and include a transportation improvement benefit as part of its plan,” Margaret Newman, the Executive Director of the Municipal Art Society of New York, said in a statement. “We also look forward to working with the City to evaluate the best policy for air rights transfers, especially as they involve our precious landmarks.”

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