Nomad’s moment has been going strong for years. The neighborhood north of Madison Square Park (hence the acronym) has seen a huge influx of building renovations the past half decade. New construction has been rare though, with 241 Fifth and the much anticipated 400 Park Avenue South as the shiny new pioneers amidst pre-war condo conversions; but that’s all about to change.
Virgin Group recently unveiled its inaugural hospitality venture, Virgin Hotels, in Chicago, and founder Richard Branson is now bringing his always industry-changing vision to New York. The result, currently under construction with a projected 2016 opening date, will be a towering glass cantilevered, 50 story skyscraper at 1225 Broadway. At approximately 476 feet, this is an unprecedented height and design for hotels in Nomad’s vicinity, where buildings have typically capped at around 400 feet. The hyper-modern glass structure, owned by developer Lam Group, is being designed by VOA Associates as more than a mere luxury hotel; its entire block long base will be devoted to high-end retail, restaurants and cafes.
The unique design structure will boast 100,000 square feet of retail space and will showcase a staggered facade, active rooftops, multi-concepts rooms and suites, and an outdoor pool and spa.
Virgin Group is known worldwide for providing a new gold standard in any market it touches, and the Virgin Hotel goal is to make customers rethink what the hotel experience is. Branson explains, “Hotels will no longer be a transient place where “I stay”—Virgin Hotels will be a place where guests feel ownership, where they can be themselves (with a few delights and surprises sprinkled in!) and where they can’t wait to come back. “
That visionary ambition is certainly on display with this venture. The combination and grand scope of hospitality and retail that Virgin Hotel’s Nomad presence will bring should dramatically transform and reactivate the already rapidly evolving neighborhood.