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NEW YORK CITY-In the midst of converting the 805-key Plaza Hotel into a condo hotel, Elad Properties revealed plans for the Plaza Retail Collection, which will also be housed in the historic building.

The retail portion will occupy 160,000 sf on six levels of the property. Consumers will be able to enter through the restored Fifth Avenue entrance or on 58 Street for direct access to the stores, according to a statement issued yesterday.

The restored Palm Court, with an interior skylight, will serve as the central location around which the retail component will wrap. The Terrace Room and the Edwardian Room will house the Plaza’s retail shops, according to the release. There will be 53,000 sf below street level that could house additional retail spots. There is no word yet on which companies will occupy the space.

But it is not just shops that will compose this collection. Elad’s release says, “The signature Plaza Retail Collection will also feature a spa, beauty salon and state-of-the-art fitness center with a 100-foot lap pool.”

Robert Futterman & Associates has been designated as exclusive leasing agent for the retail collection. TPG Architecture designed the space.

As reported by GlobeSt.com,in April 2005 the Plaza Hotel closed for renovations after Elad purchased the property for $675 million. The company is in the process of creating 282 hotel rooms and 182 private condos on the property. The hotel portion of the property will be operated by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. The decision to allow the hotel units to be run by Fairmont was due in part to Prince Al Waleed, who has a partner in the JV that purchased the hotel back in 2004, according to Lou Plasencia, president and CEO of the Plasencia Group Inc. “One of the requirements of his investment was that this condo hotel had to be managed by Fairmont.”

Sumner Baye, president and partner of the International Hotel Network, says there is an advantage in having a hotel group part of the overall project. “When a condo gets built some of the buyers that look at the property want to have hotel services available,” Sumner tells GlobeSt.com. They are looking for the amenities that come with staying at a hotel but a residence of their own.

Stribling & Associates is the sales agent for the residential portion.

Elad estimates the first residents will occupy the Plaza by the first quarter of 2007, with a construction completion date of October 2007, in time for the building’s 100 anniversary.

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