When Emery Roth & Sons’ 30 story office building at 55 Broad Street opened in Manhattan’s Financial District in 1967, rentals for the top floor came in at $70,000 per month, or $8 per square foot. Earlier this week, Silverstein Properties and Metro Loft Management announced that they had acquired the building for $172.5 million.
The modernist office space, once home to Goldman Sachs, will be converted into residential space under a CetraRuddy design. While the building’s former owner, the Rudin Family, had renovated parts of the building in 2019, the entire layout will now be overhauled. The office-to-residential conversion was announced earlier this year, with one tenant suing, arguing that it was a violation of the lease, as Rudin allegedly knew of the conversion in 2019 when the lease was signed. Now with the sale of the property and CetraRuddy’s release of initial designs, the plans are clearer. The building is around 60 percent occupied as of the sale.
55 Broad will be home to 571 units of housing, ranging from studios to three-bedroom units. The project builds on CetraRuddy’s portfolio in both residential and adaptive reuse projects: The Manhattan-based architects completed a residential tower in NoMad last year, converted a landmarked building into Fotografiska’s New York City outpost in 2019, and more recently, an office-to-residential conversation that is underway at 25 Water Street.
CetraRuddy’s design for the 30-story building includes ample amenities to draw residents deeper into the Financial District, including a private club space, fitness rooms, coworking spaces, a “landscaped sundeck,” outdoor grill area, and a 45-foot-long rooftop pool—which may have to take on a different look than the firm’s mosaic-faced pool at Rose Hill in NoMad. During conversion, the entire building will be converted to electricity, with the building projected to use 22 percent less energy than it currently operates on.
Silverstein CEO Marty Burger said that “amid a citywide housing shortage, our conversion of 55 Broad Street will create hundreds of new apartments in Lower Manhattan.” The statement comes a week after Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcements of 400 units of affordable housing at 5 World Trade Center, of which Silverstein is part of the development team.
Silverstein received debt financing from Mexico City–based Banco Inbursa, who has loaned to the major New York developer before. The company has seen potential in the office-to-residential conversion market for a while, despite some skepticism from other developers on feasibility, which can be a challenge, for example, when daylight does not enter full floorplates. Some buildings require more extensive structural work, often with the insertion of a light well, as is the case with nearby 160 Water Street.
CetraRuddy founding principal John Cetra said that the firm’s design “took advantage of 55 Broad’s unique form with setbacks which enabled us to design a variety of apartment sizes and types ranging from efficient units to loft-like layouts with generous terraces… In converting the building from commercial to residential use, we recaptured floor area that was then used to add additional square footage at the top of the building, which added value to the investment.”
The anticipated two-year construction process to convert the building is set to begin next month.