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 http://www.cassahotelny.com
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 StatesĀ  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.”

New beds in New York

November 9, 2012

Manhattan has seen a big boom in hotel openings. Jenny Southan takes a look and finds out what’s to come.

Next time you visit New York you’ll have many more options for resting your head. Like London, which is experiencing its own surge of property launches and revamps (see buisinesstraveller.com/tags/london+hotels), the Big Apple has seen a flurry of new hotel openings.

Last year close to 40 properties opened their doors, increasing the city’s room count by almost 6,650. And with overall occupancy standing at about 85 per cent despite this growth in capacity, there is a sense of optimism in the air.

CASSA HOTEL AND RESIDENCES

A member of Worldhotels, Cassa debuted in August, although its subterranean bar/restaurant is not due to open until the summer. The property has 57 extended-stay units on floors 27 to 48, as well as 165 guestrooms on levels two to 26.

It’s a mid-range offering in a good Midtown location, with facilities including walk-in rainshowers, large flatscreen TVs, iPod docks, Dean and Deluca snacks, and minibars (note that beds in the standard rooms are small doubles). There are three meeting rooms and a 24-hour fitness centre.

70 West 54th Street; tel +1 212 3028 700; cassahotelny.com

Rooms from US$256

Cassa Hotel NY

March 23, 2012

This slideshow requires JavaScript.