August 25, 2023
MCR — the country’s 3rd-largest hotel owner-operator — has acquired the iconic Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City.
MORSE Development, which developed the experiential TWA Hotel at New York City’s JFK Airport, will bring back the magic and glamour of the five-star hotel, which has been closed since 2020. An extensive renovation will revitalize the lobby, the first-floor restaurants and bars, and the hotel’s 197 guestrooms and suites. The spectacular 7,000-square-foot rooftop bar — the only venue with a view of the exclusive Gramercy Park — will also receive a full restoration.
“We will return this beloved hotel to its original splendor as the jewel of Gramercy Park — one of the most magical and unique neighborhoods in Manhattan,” says Tyler Morse, Chairman and CEO of MCR/MORSE Development.
Built in 1924 on the site where Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edith Wharton was born, the 18-story luxury hotel has a rich history as a haunt for athletes (Babe Ruth frequented the bar), politicians (a young John F. Kennedy Jr. stayed there with his father) and screen legends (Humphrey Bogart married stage actress Helen Menken there in 1926). But it was a true favorite of rock stars. The Clash, U2, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones all booked rooms during their tours. Blondie’s Debbie Harry lived in room 501. Madonna, who worked as a hat-check girl at the nearby club Danceteria, partied afterhours at the hotel. And when David Bowie checked in for two weeks in 1973 at the height of his The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars fame, the hotel was nicknamed “The Glamercy.” As Rolling Stone put it in 2018, “it was probably one of the only places you could call up room service to order a pick or a guitar string.”
MCR/MORSE Development has a history of developing landmark hotels. In 2019, MCR/MORSE opened the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport in the landmark TWA Flight Center. Built as a cathedral to aviation in 1962 by architect Eero Saarinen and abandoned for nearly 20 years, the fully restored building now houses The Sunken Lounge cocktail bar, the Paris Café by Jean-Georges, museum exhibitions and retail outlets. In addition to 512 guestrooms and suites, the experiential campus includes a 50,000-square-foot event center; a rooftop infinity pool open year-round; a 10,000-square-foot fitness center and a 1958 Lockheed Constellation “Connie” L-1649A turned cocktail bar. During the four-year development project, MCR/MORSE worked with 22 government agencies — including the FAA and Finland, which had a seat at the table on behalf of native son Saarinen — 14 preservationist groups and a total of 174 firms. The company also amassed a collection of 3,000 historic TWA artifacts.
MCR’s New York City portfolio also includes the landmarked The High Line Hotel — an 1895 Gothic Collegiate gem in a former Episcopalian seminary — the Sheraton New York Times Square, the Royalton New York and The Lexington Hotel.