Milford Plaza closing for renovations

Crains New York Business
By Elisabeth Butler Cordova
September 16, 2009

Some 350 employees will be laid off in December while the hotel undergoes more than a year-and-a-half overhaul of its guest rooms and public areas.

The Milford Plaza is closing for 18 to 21 months for extensive renovations. Workers will overhaul every guest room and public area in the 1,301-room property, located on Eighth Avenue and West 45th Street.

All 354 of the hotels employees will be laid off during the last weeks of December to make way for the project, according to a labor document filed with the state.

The hotel’s owners considered the project for nearly two years before choosing a date. “We were just waiting for the right time,” said Jeffrey Pertz, a representative for the hotel’s owner, Milford Plaza Associates. Ogden CAP Properties manages the property.

Although Mr. Pertz declined to say how much the hotel’s owners plan to spend on the renovation, he said the hotel has hired TPG Architecture LLP to manage the project. That firm specializes in retail and workplace design, and its past clients include Barneys New York, Harry Winston and Lifetime Entertainment.

The hotel’s long-considered plans are just one of many construction projects that have been put on hold during the recession as financing dried up. At the same time, the city’s tourism industry has been bruised by the economic downturn, and many retailers and hoteliers would rather have been able to renovate during this slower year.

A standard room at the Milford was available for $175 Wednesday night, according to the hotel’s Web site. For a Saturday night in October, further into the busier tourist season, the rate rises to $209 for the fancier Milford Club room, which comes with free Internet and breakfast.

Those are bargain prices. In the first six months of this year, the average daily room rate for hotels between West 42nd and West 59th streets was $215 a night, compared with $284 a night during the comparable period of 2008, according to hotel trend tracker PKF Consulting.