It will be springtime for Italy at 280 Park Ave., the office tower that was home to the short-lived revival of The Four Seasons restaurant.
Brazil’s giant Fasano Hotel and Restaurant Group has signed a lease with landlords SL Green and Vornado to open a high-end Italian restaurant in the first half of 2020. The Post first reported Fasano’s interest in the space on Aug. 19.
None of the parties would comment at the time, but the deal at one of the city’s most closely watched restaurant locations is done.
SL Green EVP and leasing director Steven Durels said the unnamed eatery may open in March. Vornado’s Glen J. Weiss was the point man in negotiations for the joint-venture ownership.
It’s a badly needed coup for the landlords, who were eager to find a major eatery for the sprawling, 20,000 square-foot space that went dark after the transplanted Four Seasons went belly-up after just nine months.
The Four Seasons’ buildout and design by Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld cost around $30 million. Sources told The Post that although Fasano wasn’t involved at the Four Seasons, Weinfeld’s role there was key to Fasano’s interest.
Weinfeld, Fasano’s favorite architect, designed luxury namesake hotels in Brazil and Uruguay. Source said Fasano plans to retain his architecturally-praised design for the Four Seasons, including a square bar flecked with gold leaf, modernist furniture and steel fabric window shades in the dining room, and a limestone corridor connecting the rooms.
But some Four Seasons investors told The Post last summer that Weinfeld’s design for second-floor private rooms there didn’t work and contributed to its failure.
Although not well known in New York, Fasano is Brazil’s leading hospitality company. Founded by an Italian immigrant to Sao Paolo in 1902, it was sold to Brazilian real estate firm JHSF in 2014 but remains under creative control of the Fasano family.
Vornado and SLO Green bought the 1.266 million square-foot 280 Park Ave. for just under $1.3 billion in 2011, added $150 million in capital upgrades and refinanced the tower for $900 million in 2016. Its office floors are nearly 100 percent leased to firms including Viking Global, Blue Mountain Realty, Cohen and Steers and Fiduciary Trust.
Steve Cuozzo [NYPost.com]
Steven D. Cuozzo (born January 17, 1950) is an American writer and newspaper editor who writes as a restaurant critic, real estate columnist, and op-ed contributor at the New York Post, a daily newspaper primarily distributed in New York City and its surrounding area. A lifetime resident of New York, Cuozzo spent his career at the Post, working his way up from his entry-level copy boy position in 1972, through positions including copy editor in the newsroom, entertainment editor, assistant managing editor in charge of features, and executive editor. In 1996, he summarized his experiences at the Post in his book, It’s Alive! How America’s Oldest Newspaper Cheated Death and Why It Matters. As of 2013, Cuozzo writes as a restaurant critic, real estate columnist, and op-ed contributor at the New York Post and lives with his wife Jane on the Upper East Side.