By Jill Colvin
MIDTOWN — A new deal is in the works to bring new life to the vacant Donnell Library site.
Starwood Hotels and Tribeca Associates are reportedly teaming up to bring a new hotel and condo complex to the building at 20 West 53rd St., across from the Museum of Modern Art, which has stood vacant for years, Crain’s New York Business said Wednesday.
Sources told the paper that the two companies are planning to purchase a contract from Orient-Express Hotels to build a $400 million mixed complex at the site.
Library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise declined to comment on the deal, but said that any plan would have to get the library’s stamp of approval.
"If Orient Express wants to transfer its development rights, we would ensure that a library of the same quality will be built at the location — same size, same timetable," she said, adding that the library expects to receive the full $59 million it is owed.
The popular Donnell Library was closed two years ago when the building was purchased by Orient-Express to build a new hotel. The plans included a library branch on the building's ground and basement floors.
But since then, the space has been in limbo. Last summer, a spokeswoman for Orient-Express said that plans had been put on hold because of the recession, but that the company was looking for an investment partner to resume work on its plan.
The Orient-Express and Starwood did not immediately return calls for comment.
Tribeca Associates declined to discuss the plan.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Starwood Capital Group Global, not Starwood Hotels, is the company involved in the deal, according to a statement from Orient-Express Hotels and the New York Public Library. Crain's and the NYPL had originally erroneously reported that the company involved was Starwood Hotels.