Creating a Lifestyle

November 13, 2012

Assa Properties’ new offfering – Cassa Hotel and Residences – feautres unique architecture that stands out in Manhattan. By Alan Dorich

Assa Properties – Cassa Hotel and Residences
Location: New York City. Scope: New building with 57 residences and 165 guest rooms.

For Solly Assa, real estate has never been a stepping stone to bigger and better things. Instead, he has a long-term commitment to the industry. “Real estate is not a short-term business,” he declares. “You don’t [succeed] by buying [a property] today and selling it tomorrow, like in the stock market.”

Assa is the owner of Assa Properties, a developer of residential, retail and commercial properties. The firm made a recent addition to its portfolio with Cassa Hotel and Residences in New York City. The building, designed by Enrique Norten of TEN Arquitectos and CetraRuddy, features 57 residences and 165 guest rooms. It spans 170,000 square feet and stands 48 stories.

Assa himself created the conceot for Cassa, which takes it s name from “casa”, meaning “house” in Spanish. “It is a hotel and it is a residence,” he says. “We’re creating this lifestyle right in the middle of Manhattan.”

Unique Style

“We tried to capture the best possible product,” Assa says with pride. For instance, past the building’s reception area, visitors can find a catwalk suspended over a restaurant that will lead them to a vertical garden, which provides a natural feel to the development.

Cassa’s hotel rooms are furnished with leather seating, ottomans and black leather studded headboards. The walls feature the work of abstract impressionist photographer Irene Mamiye.

Its baths incorporate Duravit fixtures and feature Italian bath products from Angelo Caroli. In addition, the residential units get scenic views of such landmarks as the Chrysler Building and the Statue of Liberty.

Additionally, Cassa has three fully furnished penthouse units with such features as Brizo faucets, which are known for their from and quality of performance, Assa Properties says. “A sensory light experience is at its finest with the Lutron Lighting Control System, augmenting illumination at varying degrees,” the company says.

“An entire floor with additional loft space, the penthouse includes stunning skyline views of Manhattan – overlooking Times Square, unobstructed looking east to the Chrysler building, and the sightlines reach as far south to the Statue of Liberty,” Assa says.

Assa says he is proud of his team on the Cassa project. “The whole team did a great job in terms of managing the architects and the engineers,” he says.

Assa’s Forte

Based in New York City, Assa Properties has developed and invested in residential, retail and commercial properties for more than a decade. Solly and Isaac Assa founded the company in 2000 and since then, the company has acquired more than 3 million square feet of assets in the United States  and Mexico.

Assa Properties began by acquiring buildings in New York City, including 743 Fifth Avenue and 6 Times Square. “We’re opportunistic owners,” Solly Assa says.

A property such as Cassa falls within Assa’s comfort zone of maximizing properties to produce the best possible product. “Our forte is to find the best possible location, and then position the asset in order to capture the market.”

Wide Open

The Northeast market is improving, Assa reports. The company survived difficult times en 2007, 2008 and 2009, and, thankfully, the last year has been less challenging, he says.

“Thank God those days are behind us,” he says. “More people are gaining the confidence to buy again.” As a result, he sees a strong future for Assa Properties. “We’re a growing company,” he declares, adding that the company plans to expand thorugh joint ventures. “We’re open to new opportunities all the time.”

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