One Wall Street to boost residential living in Downtown Manhattan

/ EdgeProp Singapore |
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - One Wall Street in New York City is the culmination of a US$1.5 billion ($2.1 billion) conversion project by American developer Macklowe Properties. The overhaul of the nearly century-old Art Deco-style skyscraper has been billed as the most expensive office-to-condo conversion project the city has seen so far.
The luxury residential development has been a draw among wealthy New Yorkers looking to buy a new home amid a tight rental market and high net-worth individuals from out of state who want to own a piece of history.
One Wall Street was originally built between 1928 to 1931 as the headquarters of the former Irving Trust Bank. The building takes up the entire city block and comprises two connected towers. Although not the tallest building in the city, residents will be surrounded by nearly 300 years of building history that characterises downtown Manhattan.
“Among high-rise New York developments, it’s all about the skyline views. But this building has a fascinating perspective of the architecture in downtown Manhattan,” says Richard Dubrow, director of marketing at Macklowe Properties.
One Wall Street Broadway View - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
Prominently located at the junction of Wall Street and Broadway in downtown Manhattan, One Wall Street is surrounded by years of architectural history. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
American architect Ralph Thomas Walker designed the original 50-storey skyscraper facing the junction of Wall Street and Broadway in the Art Deco style. At the same time, a 36-storey annexe on the southside was completed in 1965. The original skyscraper designed by Walker is regarded as one of New York city’s Art Deco landmarks, and the building was designated a city landmark in 2001.

Landmark of capitalism

When the Irving Trust Bank decided to build its headquarters in the 1920s, it wanted the design to reflect its status as one of the biggest, most successful banks. As a sign of prestige, banks wanted to be as close to the New York Stock Exchange as possible.
Nearly a century later, One Wall Street is the closest neighbour to the New York Stock Exchange, the world’s largest stock exchange by market capitalisation and the hub of financial activity in downtown Manhattan.
After securing one of the most expensive pieces of real estate in New York City, the bank board turned to Walker, one of the most prominent architects of the day. Art Deco architecture was blossoming at this time, and Walker was one of the pre-eminent architects designing landmark skyscrapers.
50-storey skyscrapper designed by Walker - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The original 50-storey skyscrapper designed by Walker was designated a New York city landmark in 2001. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
Walker’s design of the original 50-storey skyscraper comprised a solid limestone building. “He was trying to evoke the sense of industrialisation at the time and the sense of the machine age they were living in,” says Dubrow.
The most characteristic architectural detail throughout the original landmark tower is a scallop effect along each window that covers the façade. This softens the image of the skyscraper from afar, despite its solid limestone material.
Over the past century, the interior of the building has undergone several revamps as an active office space. By the time Macklowe Properties bought the development in 2014, nearly all the original interiors had been renovated or altered.
The only part of the building that retained its original design is the ground floor Red Room fronting Wall Street. The space was originally the private banking hall of the Irving Trust Bank.
The Red Room on the ground floor has been restored to its original splendour. The space will host a retail concept in the future. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
As part of the conversion, Macklowe Properties spent about US$1 million to clean up and restore the original splendour of the Red Room. This unique space is covered in a mix of oxblood, orange and gold mosaic designed by American muralist Hildreth Meniere. The Art Deco influence is glaringly evident in this interior space, especially the ceiling’s angled vaults, and offers a glimpse into what the rest of the interior of the building might have looked like in 1931.
The Red Room houses the scale model of One Wall Street and is the main sales gallery exhibiting different parts of the project, such as the new underground retail components and the residents’ amenities deck on the 39th floor. Eventually, the Red Room will be turned into a retail space.

Largest conversion project in New York City

The developer has painstakingly attempted to restore or replicate parts of the original building design that had been removed and altered over the past 90 years. One of the most prominent replicas on the street level is the original entrance to the landmark tower along Broadway. When the 36-storey annexe was built in the 1960s, the entryway was sealed off and replaced by a new contemporary entrance.
“One of the few exterior interventions we have done was to research the original design based on Walker’s drawings and sketches to create a new entry inspired by the design of the original 1920s entrance,” says Dubrow.
Most conversion works pertain to the interior of the landmark building and annexe. “The big planning move of this building was converting it from an office building into a residential project, and the configuration of the interior cores such as the elevators, stairs, and accessways”.
new entrance fronting Broadway - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
A new entrance fronting Broadway has been reconstructed based on the original Art Deco design by Walker. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
When it was built for the Irving Trust Bank, these cores were positioned along the windows to provide a spacious bullpen-type office layout at the centre of each floorplate. Dubrow adds: “But for a residential development, we want the exact opposite; we want the core in the middle so that each unit layout can get natural light and adequate living space.”
After Macklowe took over the building, they gutted all the interiors. “Not one elevator, stair, wire, or pipe remains. It is a 1.1 million sq ft brand new building, constructed within the shell of this landmark tower,” he continues.
Although the developer does not want to share how much this renovation costs, it says that a building of this stature deserves the new lease of life that this extensive conversion offers. “This also sets us apart from many other office-to-condo conversions in the downtown area,” says Dubrow.
Since the 2010s, several older commercial buildings in downtown Manhattan have been converted into prime residential developments. Usually, developers would work around the existing office layout, resulting in narrow apartment layouts.

Enhancing the liveability of downtown Manhattan

The conversion of One Wall Street into a residential development is also boosted by new retail components incorporated into the project, turning it into a highly desirable integrated development.
The new retail additions comprise parts of the first three floors in the annexe building and four underground retail levels.
One of the retail tenants is organic grocer Whole Foods Market which will take up about two underground floors. When this supermarket opens in 1H2023, it will be the largest Whole Foods Market in downtown Manhattan. Whole Foods will also have a small café at the atrium that leads into the underground retail floors.
conversion of One Wall Street - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The conversion of One Wall Street into an integrated development in downtown Manhattan will see the opening of the largest Whole Foods Market in the area, plus other lifestyle brands. (Picture: EdgeProp Singapore)
Leading American lifestyle and health club Life Time Fitness will set up shop at One Wall Street. The company is offering an expanded suite of services beyond its usual gym facilities at this location. Life Time will offer programmes such as massage and therapy, kids programming and tutoring. Residents of One Wall Street will automatically receive a Life Time Fitness membership that will enable them to access and book these services and programmes.
A third retail operator has not been officially announced. It will occupy the three-storey shopfront in the annexe building, which features a prominent frontage along Broadway. The tenant is involved in the fashion and lifestyle industry and will expand the range of retail offerings at One Wall Street.
The Red Room will also be converted into a retail space in the future. However, the developer has not decided what kind of retail concept it will invite to take over the space.
The 566-unit development offers a range of unit types. Typical units include studio apartments that range from 599 sq ft to 911 sq ft to three-bedroom apartments that range from 1,510 sq ft to 2,972 sq ft.
Several residential collections that feature specific characteristics and features are available. One of them is the Terrace Collection which comprises a limited number of 46 units that feature a private outdoor terrace, ranging from studios to four-bedroom units. A 590 sq ft studio in the Terrace Collection starts from about US$1.4 million.
One Wall Street feature terraces - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
A collection of 46 units at One Wall Street feature terraces that expand the indoor and outdoor spaces. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
One Wall Street’s location near the south end of Manhattan also means that a few apartment units will have nearly unblocked views of the Hudson River. Eight units featured in this Harbour Collection will be fitted with floor-to-ceiling bay windows to extend the panoramic views of New York Harbour and the Statue of Liberty. A 2,880 sq ft, three-bedder in this Harbour Collection starts from US$9.3 million.
Despite its Art Deco architectural and aesthetic touches throughout the development, One Wall Street also offers a modernist Loft Collection. These South-facing units come with open concept layouts with floor-to-ceiling windows that look towards the nearby historic Trinity Church and Broadway. A 1,785 sq ft, three-bedroom loft unit is priced from US$4.2 million.
Finally, the Tower Collection is from the 40th to 48th floors of the development, which used to house stately boardrooms and executive offices. Each of these nine apartments features a master bedroom suite with two walk-in closets and two bathrooms facing an oversized bay window. Some units in this collection also come with a separate service entrance.
The project has been popular among wealthy New Yorkers, who have been snapping up one- and two-bedders and some three-bedroom apartments. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
The most exclusive unit in the project is the 14,300 sq ft, triplex penthouse suite that crowns the Art Deco skyscraper. This unit will also contain the restored White Room, which used to be the main board room used by the board of the Irving Trust Bank. For now, the developer is keeping most of the details of the penthouse under wraps, but the price of the penthouse is expected to start from US$80 million.

Modern amenities

Most new resident amenities will be in a three-storey extension above the annexe tower, increasing the height of the building from 36 floors to 39 floors. The developer calls this The One Club and claims it will have hotel-level amenities and services.
The 39th floor will accommodate an exclusive restaurant for residents and their guests, which will be connected to a 4,000 sq ft open-air terrace. The developer says it is still negotiating with a Manhattan-based F&B operator to manage the restaurant.
“We aim to have the restaurant space completed early in 4Q2022 and operations to start by 1Q2023,” says Dubrow.
An artist impression of the exclusive amenities space for residents at One Wall Street. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
Residents will enjoy an indoor 75ft lap pool on the 38th floor with 15-foot windows that offer views towards Lower Manhattan and New York harbour. The indoor pool design emulates the Red Room’s opulence and will feature mosaic tile work on the ceiling in the Art Deco design.
Meanwhile, the 37th floor comprises a wellness and fitness centre with exercise equipment, steam rooms, showers, lockers, and restroom facilities. The developer adds that they have engaged luxury service experience company LIVunLtd to manage all the service aspects of The One Club.

New Yorkers snapping up units

According to a sales representative of Compass Real Estate, of the local realtors marketing One Wall Street in the US, about half of those who have bought units at One Wall Street live within two or three blocks from the development or have been long-term Manhattanites.
Macklowe Properties rolled out a soft launch of the project in 4Q2021. At the time, most of the building was still under construction, and even the sales gallery in the Red Room had not been fully completed.
The representative says that sales conversions started to accelerate only in February when the pace of construction picked up and the sales gallery was completed. Internationally, the development is marketed by Savills.
After Macklowe took over the building, they gutted all the interiors. “Not one elevator, stair, wire, or pipe remains. It is a 1.1 million sq ft brand new building, constructed within the shell of this landmark tower," says Dubrow.
“The summertime is usually a seasonally slower period in the (US) housing market, but we are seeing very healthy sales at One Wall Street throughout the past few months,” says Kirk Raunhaug, one of the sales agents at Compass Real Estate.
“Many of the local buyers that have bought units are familiar with and love the neighbourhood, and the introduction of the largest Whole Foods Market downtown has helped elevate the attractiveness of living in this traditional financial district”.
So far, many locals have already snapped up several of the one- and two-bedroom units, and this buying interest has spilled over to the larger three-bedroom units, says Raunhaug.
“As the traditional homebuying season in the US picks up during the autumn season and given the development is steadily moving towards completion, larger units are likely to be sold.”
swimming pool on the 38th floor - EDGEPROP SINGAPORE
The swimming pool on the 38th floor will feature a mosaic ceiling inspired by the Red Room. (Picture: Macklowe Properties)
Some buyers looking at the three-bedroom units may decide to buy given how high rents in New York City are today, reckons Raunhaug. He adds that they are likely to upgrade from a two-bedder given that they are working from home more often and therefore need more space.
The sales response from foreign buyers is still lower than the pre-pandemic average, with interest picking up only over the last three months. “The foreign market has been slow due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Many foreigners from Asia, Europe and South America are house hunting in New York mainly because their children are studying in schools there. Raunhaug also reckons that nearly 70% of the residents at One Wall Street will eventually be either native New Yorkers or those moving from elsewhere in the US, with the remaining 30% made up of foreign residents or investors buying to rent.

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