A Sag Harbor resort found a solution for families that plan to postpone their return to the city — and a way to bolster the hotel’s bottom line during the off-season.
Baron’s Cove, facing the picturesque village marina, has launched what it calls “A Key to the Hamptons: A Private Harborview Retreat.” Guests can book a six-month stay from $14,000 to $20,000 depending on room size and location. Some 30 of Baron’s Cove’s 67 rooms are available for extended stay, all equipped with refrigerator, coffee makers and microwaves.
“Claim your key on Oct. 12, 2020, return it on April 1, 2021,” is the brainchild of Curtis Bashaw, founder and managing partner of Baron’s Cove owner Cape Resorts.
The program should lift off-season occupancy, which dips to 50 percent in January. Room rates during the six-month period run from $200 to $600 a night in the fourth quarter and from $180 to $500 in the first quarter. A night-by-night stay at Baron’s based on the average regular rates would cost $63,000.
Bashaw called the program “ideal for individuals and families who aren’t quite ready to return to the city or would like to take a break, but are not ready to give up their apartments. With people working remotely and schools going virtual, many are also looking for a pied-à-terre or temporary second residence for a change of scenery.”
Industry City battle
The heat’s on City Council Speaker Corey Johnson over rezoning Industry City in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park.
The controversial proposal by the industrial park’s owners, Jamestown Properties and Belvedere Capital, to add 1.4 million square feet to the complex’s existing 6 million square feet was approved in an 11-1 vote at the City Planning Commission on Friday. The plan would also allow more retail than currently exists at the 16-building, 35-acre waterfront site.
Under the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, it heads next to the City Council — where member Carlos Menchaca, who represents the area, plans to vote against it.
Council members traditionally have veto power over rezonings in their own districts. However, with a promised increase of 8,000 to 20,000 jobs at the site if the rezoning is approved, Johnson is being urged by the developers, business and civic organizations, labor unions and even some other council members to override Menchaca, as it’s the speaker’s right to do. The council is expected to take up the matter in late September or October.
Menchaca claims the rezoning — which would affect no area outside of Industry City itself — will turn Industry City into a “mall” and gentrify the surrounding working-class neighborhood.
But City Planning Commissioner Marisa Lago noted that the city has lost 770,000 jobs since March, many of them among the city’s lower-income communities. She said an enlarged Industry City “can help us stop this cycle of neglect and inequity and help us to right a historical wrong.”
Restaurant-world insiders were agog over our exclusive story last week that Greek seafood brasserie Avra signed a lease for a giant, three-level eatery at 1271 Sixth Ave. at West 50th Street.
How could even an outfit as successful as Avra Group take a chance on a third big Manhattan restaurant on the avenue, where few office employees have returned to their desks and when nobody knows when restaurants will reopen for indoor dining?
CBRE’s Gary Trock, who worked on the deal for Avra, credited a spirit of cooperation — and optimism — on the part of Avra and landlord Rockefeller Group. The place won’t open until fall 2021, and by then, Radio City Music Hall across the avenue and large hotels will hopefully be back in action.
Moreover, the lease was carefully structured to protect both Avra and Rock Group. Trock said it was crafted “to grow within the framework of the pandemic we’re living through.”
He wouldn’t share numbers but said the lease “starts as a low base rent and percentage of sales. As the volume increases, the percentage increases.”
“That was the mindset on both sides of the negotiations. It was almost a lovefest because everybody wanted it to work for both sides,” he said.
Such a landlord-tenant arrangement — essentially a kind of partnership built on a below-market starting rent and landlord participation in future profits — is exactly what many restaurateurs say is the only way they’ll be able to survive.
Contingency planning in various forms is also believed to be part of many of the large signings we recently reported. Among them: huge office leases for Facebook, TikTok, AIG and Raymond James, for retailers such as Target on East 125th Street, and for giant food halls at the Starrett-Lehigh Building and at 19 Union Square.