Thursday, February 7, 2013

WTC Soon to Have Three Tall New Neighbors

Plans that call for three new skyscrapers to be built near the World Trade Center, will further change the face of lower Manhattan. A proposal from Fisher Brothers, which recently purchased the old American Stock Exchange, calls for a transformation of 86 Trinity Place into a 174-suite hotel with 100,000 square feet of retail, while also erecting 60-story residential building, next door at 22 Thames Street. In addition, Selldorf Architects has unveiled its vision for a 637-foot, 54-story tower to rise at 111 Washington Street.

The two Fisher Brothers properties are a block south of the World Trade Center site in the Financial District, an area that was hit hard during the economic downturn but recently has shown signs of snapping back. They acquired the former American Stock Exchange buildings, which have been mostly vacant since the exchange merged with the New York Stock Exchange in 2008.

The developer plans to turn the Trinity Place building into a retail complex with a handful of shops and at least one high-end anchor tenant. Above the retail complex, they are planning a 174-room boutique hotel. The partners plan to renovate and convert that building, which includes a former trading floor, 60-foot ceilings and a 15-story tower that they say is suitable for hotel development.

They plan to tear down the 10-story building at 22 Thames Street and construct a 60-story residential building that is likely to be luxury rentals. The new owners have the right to build 400,000 square feet of residential property. They declined to say how much they expect to spend on the construction work, which is estimated at around $750,000 million
Fisher Brothers bet on the financial district comes, as developer interest in the area is showing signs of turning around after a brutal period when a number of residential projects halted construction or never got going.

Since the mid 1990s, when the city began offering tax incentives to developers who converted obsolete office property into apartment buildings, the area's population has exploded. Even after the tax credits expired, building continued rapidly until there was a glut of supply during the downturn.

The empty ICON parking garage that closed down at 111 Washington Street, across from the W hotel, has shown little movement since 2008.

The lot, plus some adjacent ones and air rights, was once part of plan for a 300-unit condominium building. Then it re-imagined as a designer hotel. However, the contract never closed once the market slumped, and the spot has been quiet ever since. Until now.

Selldorf Architects recently unveiled a prismatic tower design for the site near the World Trade Center at 111 Washington Street. The 54-story building would replace the parking lots that were sold late last year.

The first five floors would hold retail and residential amenities, which would be topped by two floors for performing arts, with the tower rising 637-feet above that.

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