Repurposing a building is nowhere near a new concept, but NYC’s latest project is already breaking records.
Earlier this year, Mayor Eric Adams announced his push to convert a big chunk of the underused office space from 2020 into new apartments for New Yorkers. While the COVID-19 pandemic gave us all the luxury of working from home, it also left a lot of abandoned offices. The conversions from commercial/office to residential space were estimated to add as many as 20,000 homes in the next decade – or enough to house at least 40,000 individuals.
The latest office-to-residential project is set to create 1,300 apartments, the most extensive conversion to date.
The Lower Manhattan building, 25 Water Street, used to be the office of Daily News and JPMorgan Chase, which cleared out earlier in the pandemic.
The building’s new owners plan to ease residential conversions using old methods to gut the offices, carve out courtyards and add ten floors to the 22-story structure.
Although the owners have not submitted the residential plan for final approval from the city’s Department of Buildings, they can still proceed. In Lower Manhattan, city sign-offs for office conversions are only seen as a formality as long as the new design meets zoning and construction rules.
Since repurposing a building takes a significantly shorter time than planning and building a new structure, aspiring residents can expect apartments to be available in as early as two years.
In addition to plans to add a courtyard and extra floors, developers plan to add a massive gym, ground-floor shops, and two swimming pools to attract new, young tenants.
“The expectation is that there certainly will be younger single folks who are just sort of starting out in New York, up to families with children that will be looking for these larger units,” GFP Real Estate’s head, Brian Steinwurtzel, said. “It’ll help to continue the transition of the financial district into a 24/7 mixed-use neighborhood.”