Standing on 28th Street and Fifth Avenue, Alex Ohebshalom is clad in a trendy dark suit and immaculate shoes, appropriate for a real estate scion whose family, through Empire Management, has owned a 115-year-old building on the northwest corner for more than four decades.

But on this day, his bright orange vest and gold construction helmet make it clear that this millennial does things differently.

In fact, it’s not hard to picture Ohebshalom, 29, in his element at Mount Everest Base Camp, a place he schlepped during a worldwide exploration that led him to found his own venture, Flaneur Hospitality. That company is now the developer behind what will become the Fifth Avenue Hotel.

“The flaneur is someone who takes time to observe and enjoy the pleasures of life,” he explains, referencing French poet Charles Baudelaire, who defined the term, among others. Ohebshalom wants this attitude to infuse his $200 million hotel project, which is slated to open in late 2020. Since 2014, Ohebshalom has been working to execute his vision for guest rooms, dining areas and upscale public areas that recreate the golden age of turn-of-the-century New York.

The dusty and corroded gem of an old structure at 250 Fifth Ave. used to house banks and offices in Nomad — an area that, over the last few years, has transformed from boring to bustling.

Alex Ohebshalom, developer of the Fifth Avenue Hotel in Nomad.
Alex Ohebshalom, developer of the Fifth Avenue Hotel in Nomad.Flâneur Hospitality

“Flaneur Hospitality will be a transformative experience for the guest — whether through design, architecture, food or the art program — and translated through our service offerings and highly tailored experiences,” he says. “We are offering a far more sophisticated experience — rich and layered both inside and through our concierge services. We will also be taking the guests around the city in unique ways in order to provoke and inspire their curiosity.”

Ohebshalom worked on financing, brokerage and construction for other companies before rejoining Empire Management and finally founding Flaneur Hospitality.

”When I came in and got my hands dirty, I pushed the company to look at it in a different light,” he says.

He tapped Perkins Eastman to save and restore the façade of the McKim, Mead & White bank building, which in 1908 replaced Gilded Age socialite Charlotte Goodridge’s mansion. With approval from the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, the architects are entirely reworking the original structure to meld it with a brand-new 24-story hotel tower set back mid-block. The hotel will have 153 keys: 24 in the “mansion” and 129 in the addition.

Martin Brudnizki Design Studio, known for its work on the Beekman Hotel near City Hall, is charged with designing the interiors to appeal to the globe-trotting, Instagram-obsessed modern flaneur. Art advisor Elizabeth Margulies will source contemporary art.

The tall arched Fifth Avenue entrance will open to 30-foot-high ceilings and a multi-level restaurant. A large spiral staircase will bring guests to a lower level, which has 15-foot ceilings. Bank vaults that once held gold bars will become wine cellars flooded with natural light — traditional sidewalk grates outside are being replaced by slabs with thick glass rounds, similar to those found on Soho’s streets. The main kitchen will be on this lower level, while a show kitchen will be tucked in the rear of the main floor, under a dining mezzanine.

Hotel guests will enter through a former carriage house on West 28th Street and check in at a 22-foot-wide mahogany reception desk. Visitors can relax or meet in an adjacent club-like library bar.

The low-rise portion of the future Fifth Avenue Hotel at 250 Fifth Ave. dates back to around 1908, as you can see in this historic photo.
The low-rise portion of the future Fifth Avenue Hotel at 250 Fifth Ave. dates back to around 1908, as you can see in this historic photo.Flâneur Hospitality

Upstairs, a private bridal preparation suite with its own terrace will lead to a 5,000-square-foot ballroom with 20-foot ceilings. An adjacent atrium terrace is earmarked for cocktail hours at such private events. The spaces, says Ohebshalom, will also be used for speakers and experiences that are open to the public. Also open to the general public will be a landscaped indoor/outdoor atrium with coffee, cocktails and dining on the tower’s north side.

The other floors of the historic building will be dedicated to hotel rooms, with a grand corner suite overlooking Fifth Avenue. Meanwhile, the adjacent tower will be topped by a private penthouse. While nightly rates are not yet public, the buzzy neighborhood and views of the Empire State Building a few blocks to the north mean they likely won’t be cheap.

The Fifth Avenue Hotel will also have trendy neighbors. To the west on 28th Street sits the round dome-topped Nomad Hotel, along with the under-construction Ritz-Carlton and Virgin Hotel towers.

Just a block away, at 277 Fifth Ave., is the Rafael Viñoly-designed Lendlease and Victor Group residential condominium, as well as a Bjarke Ingels-designed office tower for HFZ Capital Group rising at 3 W. 29th St. On East 29th Street, the Rockefeller Group is building an Art Deco-inspired residential condo called Rose Hill. A block south, on East 28th Street, sits the modern condo/rental project Prism, aka 400 Park Ave. South, designed by Christian de Portzamparc and developed by Equity Residential and Toll Brothers.

Ohebshalom believes the all-consuming nature of modern technology keeps travelers and New Yorkers from truly interacting with each other. He wants to encourage real-life connections while using tech where today’s visitors need it — such as for electronic door keys.

“We will curate a collection of objects that span many countries and generations,” he says, “to create a timeless, iconic asset.”