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Goldman Sachs Unveils Plans for Battery Park City Luxury Hotel

By Julie Shapiro | February 2, 2011 2:40pm

By Julie Shapiro

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

BATTERY PARK CITY — Goldman Sachs revealed new details this week about their overhaul of the former Embassy Suites building in Battery Park City.

In addition to bringing a much-anticipated Shake Shack to the 102 North End Ave. building, Goldman also plans to open a rooftop bar and restaurant, a branch of the popular Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar, several casual cafes, a florist and more.

The changes are part of a major renovation to convert the 14-story building into a luxury Conrad hotel by the end of the year. To improve the building’s image, Goldman is tearing out much of its opaque brick facade and replacing it with glass and steel on the lower levels.

"It makes for a more dynamic, modern experience," Dino Fusco, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, told Community Board 1 Tuesday night.

Fusco said he hopes the new restaurants and retail will serve the local community as well as the hundreds of Goldman workers based in the company’s new headquarters next door.

The new ground-floor restaurants, which also include a Blue Smoke and a fine dining establishment by Danny Meyer, will all open by the end of the year, with Shake Shack and Harry’s coming as soon as this spring. The 463-room hotel will reopen by the end of the year as well.

Goldman hopes to achieve a LEED Gold rating for environmentally friendly design, partly by topping the building with a new green roof. The chefs who work in the building will grow herbs and vegetables in large planters, and decorative grasses will surround a 1,350-square-foot roof deck, with views of the Hudson River.

"It looks great," said Tom Goodkind, a CB1 member and Battery Park City resident, after hearing Fusco’s presentation Tuesday. "I want it now."

The one element of the building that will not change is the beloved movie theater, which is continuing to operate during the construction. Goldman plans to put outdoor kiosks on Vesey and Murray streets to make it easier for people to buy tickets.

Fusco also announced that Goldman is signing retail tenants for the ground floor of its new West Street headquarters, including a bakery, an optometrist and eyeglass shop, a wine store and a small gourmet grocer.

CB1’s Battery Park City Committee unanimously approved liquor licenses Tuesday for the hotel and Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar.