As we reported in February of last year, New York City was due to get its own “gay urban resort” this past spring. But as is so often the case in hotel developments, even the best plans lead to delays and re-jiggering; projects are in constant evolution. The good news: The Out NYC is still coming to Hell’s Kitchen, although in reduced scope. The question: when exactly? For all those couples that legally tied the knot yesterday, me thinks there will be a suite with your name on it come your first anniversary.
Till then, Phase 1 is set for completion this fall, when the 11,000-square-foot XL Nightclub (so badly needed in a city where dance spots have all but died) has its grand debut in conjunction with John Blair and Beto Sutter, plus the addition of Rockit and Club 57 champs Fornabio-Voss Events.
When it’s all said and done, what will this latest incarnation of the complex look like?
- Instead of raising the current building to five stories, developers will keep it at three, allowing for 105 rooms instead of 127. The address is still far west 42nd Street between 10th and 11th Aves, an area colonized most recently by the Yotel. “Out” will still be spelled in the window-and-brick-work façade.
- Axel Hotels is no longer involved in the project. New management TBD.
- Starting room rates will be about $250, instead of $99.
- The Nickel spa and Base retail space have been scrapped.
- The 24/7 café and restaurant Kitchen is still being run by the same folks as Eatery, a Hell’s Kitchen spot for popular for its upscale comfort food, especially at brunch.
- The XL Nightclub will anchor the complex, offering nightly entertainment with an LED wall, two dance floors, and a stage for cabaret shows, plus a lounge-like chill area. Big news for the bar scene: This is the first large gay venue to open in NYC for 15 years!
- Meeting and event space will host everything from intimate private dinners to large events and weddings.
- Other design highlights include three courtyards and a 5,000-square-foot wellness center.
“This is an idea whose time has come," said Ian Reisner, Managing Partner, Parkview Developers. "What makes The Out NYC a gay hotel is the comfort level and tailored amenities for the community. This gay urban resort is poised to become a travel and entertainment destination for gay New Yorkers and tourists alike.”
In the meantime, if you want to get a preview of what a gay hotel can be – and the community that surrounds it – Axel Hotels, the world’s first gay hotel group, unveils AxelPeople.com, a social network aiming to bring its eponymous brand beyond the brick-and-mortar. With the tagline “Walls Are Optional,” you can find out who is in the room next door (or who will be), interact with the hotel hosts, follow and plan for hotel events, and tap into exclusive promotions. Think of it as a digital version of their cheeky “Please Disturb” room hangers.
Visit TheOutNYC.com for more info and updates as construction progresses.