By: Shamus Sardu
The developer of the soon to be 5th Ave Hotel, Alex Ohebshalom says his venture will be a transformative experience for the guests.
“Flaneur Hospitality will be a transformative experience for the guest — whether through design, architecture, food or the art program — and translated through our service offerings and highly tailored experiences,” he says. “We are offering a far more sophisticated experience — rich and layered both inside and through our concierge services. We will also be taking the guests around the city in unique ways in order to provoke and inspire their curiosity.”- he told the N.Y Post.
The yet to be named hotel (Flâneur is the hotel company) is under construction on the busy corner of Fifth Avenue and 28th Street in Manhattan’s Nomad area.
Alex’s father is the well known Iranian Jewish developer Fred Ohebshalom. In 1975, Fred purchased his first building in Rego Park, Queens He built the company by focusing on purchasing modest-size rental buildings in Manhattan. As of 2014, he owns over 100 apartment buildings in Manhattan. In 2011, he made a foray into large scale development with the purchase of 111 Washington Street in the Financial District for $50 million after the owner defaulted
The 5th Ave building is quite historic and was built in 1908 as the McKim, Mead & White bank building. Ohebshalom is restoring a lot of the original building especially the façade of the building.
Hotel guests will enter through a former carriage house on West 28th Street and check in at a 22-foot-wide mahogany reception desk. Visitors can relax or meet in an adjacent club-like library bar, the N.Y. Post explained.
The N.Y Post described in detail several features: “ The tall arched Fifth Avenue entrance will open to 30-foot-high ceilings and a multi-level restaurant. A large spiral staircase will bring guests to a lower level, which has 15-foot ceilings. Bank vaults that once held gold bars will become wine cellars flooded with natural light — traditional sidewalk grates outside are being replaced by slabs with thick glass rounds, similar to those found on Soho’s streets”
Alex Ohebshalom wants guests to enjoy the lobby instead of being glued to their smart phone when they arrive at his establishment. He is planning a series of yet to be disclosed partnerships with artists, writers, playwrights, photographer and more.
“Every hotel lobby I walked into, and I walked into a lot, everyone is sitting glued to their smartphone. People pay a lot of money to travel, but in the end, they don’t end up connecting to where they are visiting… If you aren’t looking at your phone, texting or whatever, you really start to connect. You meet other people. You make connections. You take the time to look around you. You notice the details. It’s a different and much more fulfilling experience.” Alex Ohebshalom told Forbes.