Vornado Realty Trust isn’t hell-bent on demolishing the historic Hotel Pennsylvania, anymore — but it’s putting the paperwork in place, just in case.
Vornado recently applied for a Certification of No Harassment from the city, which, if granted, would by no means guarantee demolition but is apparently a prerequisite for tearing down the semi-grungy hotel across from Penn Station.
Vornado, which owns that site and many others in the area, hasn’t made up its mind on what to do with the hotel (at least not publicly), and last word was that the company would do one of three things: put a giant office tower in its place, put a smaller office tower in its place with large retail, or simply spruce up the hotel.
Back last fall, the company was painfully close to landing Merrill Lynch as an anchor tenant in a planned giant skyscraper at the site. Chairman Steve Roth has bemoaned that he had a handshake deal with Merrill CEO Stan O’Neal, who was forced out shortly thereafter. Merrill then dropped those plans amid major fiscal woes.
The no-harrassment application was filed with the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development on July 25, according to the agency’s Web site.