fbpx Inside the 6 most fascinating, innovative reconstruction projects in NYC

Inside the 6 most fascinating, innovative reconstruction projects in NYC

April 22, 2024 / Hursh

The big deal

Exterior of One Madison.
A historic limestone building at One Madison was saved and capped with an all-new glass structure.JLL

To reinvent One Madison in Midtown South, SL Green Realty Corp. took the limestone building that stretched along the north side of 23rd Street from Madison to Park avenues and added 520,000 square feet of new, glass-enclosed offices. It now totals 1.4 million square feet.

Footings were enlarged by 200%, 13 columns were added and existing ones reinforced. Every core, every elevator shaft and every fire stair was demolished while carving out 12% of the floors so a new core could be shifted north.

“It would have been easier to tear it down, but we made the conscious decision to retain the nine floors of the original limestone and fit it into the architectural context of the neighborhood,” said Steve Durels of SL Green.

Learning from One Vanderbilt, the amenities and hospitality programming were geared toward the home-away-from-home environment that tenants desire. The building has 1.2 acres of outdoor space including a rooftop restaurant designed by David Rockwell. A 54,000-square-foot Chelsea Piers fitness center will be open to the public, while along East 23rd Street, new dining options will deliver both upscale and affordable offerings.

IBM and Franklin Templeton have leased about 330,000 square feet each with Triple Seven, Palo Alto Networks and others filling all the tower floors. Asking rents were $170 to $180 per foot in the tower and $115 per foot in the base.

The strip show

The Penn Plaza area.
Meanwhile, the Penn Plaza area has completely reimagined buildings by Vornado, each tricked out with every office perk imaginable.Vornado Realty Trust

Vornado Realty Corp. has reinvented the Penn Plaza area with both Penn 1 and now Penn 2.

It’s an extreme makeover of Seventh Avenue next to Madison Square Garden designed by MdeAS Architects. A rectangle structure was stripped and refitted with a new, multi-story glass “bustle” across its front held up by giant angled footings and a new, triple-glazed glass wall.

“It’s all brand-new construction attached to the existing property,” said Glen Weiss of Vornado.

The lower 12 floors have setbacks with outdoor spaces and every other upper story has loggias on the western corners. The northern end of the bustle on the second floor has a 280-seat, 4,000 square-foot town hall with large screens, a green room and terrace. “It’s a place where our tenants can do anything,” Weiss said.

The property is topped with a 17,582-square-foot outdoor park and pavilion.

Madison Square Garden Entertainment has leased the top seven stories, while Major League Soccer is onboard for 120,000 square feet. Remaining tower floors have asking rents of $110 to $125 per foot.

“There is great action now that the building is open with daily tours and proposals,” said Weiss.

The club kid

Exterior of the Terminal Warehouse.
Terminal Warehouse, a notorious nightclub, is reborn as posh office spaces.TMRW.INC

On the edge of the Hudson River, L&L, along with Columbia Property Trust, are finishing up the $1.2 billion re-massing of the Terminal Warehouse in Chelsea — better known to nightlife denizens as the old Tunnel nightclub.

Through the efforts of CookFox and Gensler architects, it’s now turning into a 1.3 million-square-foot tunnel of amenities, interior courtyards and retail spaces, while office tenants above will have terraces and unique office spaces.

“We had to hold up the whole facade on the west while building the new building,” said L&L’s David Orowitz of one of the many challenges.

Double-height spaces abound plus tenants can have dedicated entrances and elevators. A terraced atrium runs from the eighth floor to the ground-level garden. While the old railroad tracks were covered, there are peek-a-boo moments where you can look through and see portions of the tracks. Huge dramatic thermal windows, lots of brick and ancient large timbers from the 1890s create a feeling of authenticity and old New York, Orowitz said.

The sugar shack

A longtime coming, the Domino sugar factory is once again open to workers. Max Touhey | http://www.metouhey.com

In Brooklyn, the conversion of the former brick Domino sugar factory into the Refinery took lots of glass and creative architecture by PAU, as well as years and $150 million from developer Two Trees.

“We are now starting to see more traction with larger uses, particularly those that want to tap into the creative but educated labor pool,” said Brett Shannon of CBRE’s leasing team.

A 15-story, glass-and-steel cube topped with a dome was built behind the brick facade that ends at the eighth floor — leaving soaring glass spaces above.

Unique offices are located within the glass cube set several feet behind the brick facade and its curved “window” openings, while other spaces are surrounded by all glass. There are also terraces, a 27,000-square-foot penthouse amenity space and a lower-level Equinox Fitness Club with a swimming pool, a plunge pool and a gym.

Asking rents range from $69 to $90 per foot across the entire building, which can accommodate both tenants small and large.

The quarter pounder

Exterior of 425 Park.
To go bigger and better at 425 Park, Foster + Partners saved 25% of the existing building.Alan Schindler

Developer L&L Holding wanted to put a new tower at 425 Park Ave., long before the East Midtown rezoning was passed, which meant if they demolished, they could only build a smaller project.

Instead, architect Norman Foster of Foster & Partners followed rules that require 25% of the former structure to remain in place. And while complicated engineering stalled construction for many months, it produced dramatic double-height floors with diagonal beams, a tenant-amenity floor and some of the highest rents in the city. Now, companies like Citadel are enjoying their offices and the Jean-Georges restaurant, Four Twenty Five, is open off the lobby.

“It’s very special and designed very functionally,” said David Orowitz of L&L Holding.

The show off

Exterior of the TSX billboard.
Time Square’s 1568 Broadway was reborn as TSX, a hotel and music venue where artists perform live and on the big screen. Getty Images for TSX Entertainment

L&L has also reinvented 1568 Broadway, now the TSX Broadway, into a hotel and entertainment project. Here, the interior landmarked Palace Theatre, owned by the Nederlander Organization, was slowly lifted off the ground floor, moving its entrance to West 47th Street, and giving the revitalized structure valuable retail frontage along Broadway.

“It was done in 6-inch increments,” said Orowitz.

The article was oringally posted by NYPOST

Authored by Lois Weiss

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