Gary Barnett-owned Manhattan site may be home to the Northeast’s inaugural Hard Rock Hotel

Hard Rock will unveil the hotel’s location Monday

by Daniel Geiger

Photo: Bloomberg News
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casio in Las Vegas

Could a site owned by Gary Barnett’s Extell Development Co. be the home of New York’s first Hard Rock Hotel?

Barnett has assembled several parcels on the west side of Eighth Avenue between West 45th and 46th streets, including a garage he purchased last summer for nearly $46 million, to create a development site that can accommodate a soaring tower.

Hard Rock plans to announce Monday the location of what the firm says will be its first hotel in the Northeast U.S., in a partnership with Barnett. Hard Rock, owned by the American Indian Seminole Tribe in Florida, operates a successful restaurant in Times Square.

Neither Barnett nor a spokesperson for Hard Rock would comment on the location, which the company plans to unveil Monday.

Barnett owns other properties in the area, including a development site at 1710 Broadway at the north end of Times Square that can accommodate a super-tall skyscraper and is also a potential location for the Hard Rock. Sources said Hard Rock had been looking to secure a location in Times Square for several years and had previously considered a development site on the north side of West 42nd Street, between Eighth and Ninth avenues, that is currently a parking lot.

Barnett has been one of the city’s most prolific builders. In the early 2000s, he built a tower for the W Hotel in Times Square on West 47th Street. He is currently erecting the city’s tallest tower by roof height on Billionaire’s Row on West 57th Street, a 1,550-foot spire that will have a seven-story Nordstrom department store at its base.

Hard Rock is trying to secure approval to build a proposed $1 billion casino in the Meadowlands—a plan that has been met with opposition from some New Jersey officials who say it would create competition to the flagging casinos in Atlantic City.

“It’s the ultimate entertainment brand in that it connects lodging with music and the product keeps reinventing itself as music evolves,” said Mark Gordon, a hotel developer. “It will be successful in New York City, and Times Square is the best location for a brand like Hard Rock.”