By Sarah Trefethen
The City of New York is looking to sell 750,000 s/f of lower Manhattan office space currently occupied by city agencies, according to a Request for Proposals issued Monday.
The three buildings, at 22 Reade Street, 346 Broadway and 49-51 Chambers Street, have “significant potential for hotel, residential or office use,” according to the RFP issued by the NYC Economic Development Corporation on behalf of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.
Would-be buyers can make offers on the buildings individually or as a portfolio, and proposals will be assessed both for the dollar value of the offer and their likelihood to “support the economic growth and continuing revitalization of Lower Manhattan,” including employment and tax-generating potential.
The current Department of City Planning headquarters at 22 Reade Street, familiar to property owners and developers who have sweated through a land use review, is 6 stories and 99,000 s/f. It was built in the late 1800s and is located in a historic district.
The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank Building at 49-51 Chambers Street is a designated New York City landmark. The ground floor banking room and vestibule are designated interior landmarks, and the building is also on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places. The 14-story, 231,379 s/f building was constructed in the early 1900s.
And 346 Broadway, known as the Clock Tower Building, is a 13-story, 418,991 s/f structure from the late1800s with two levels of below-grade parking. The exterior and certain portions of the interior are designated New York City landmarks, and the building is on the New York State and National Registers of Historic Places.
The city hopes to negotiate a deal that would allow it to stay rent-free in the buildings during the ownership transition. Over 275 City employees have already been moved, and the city has budgeted over $80 million i to complete relocation and the design and construction of the agencies’ new spaces.
The planning department is scheduled to move into the Municipal Building at 1 Centre Street in March of 2015. Some other agencies, including the police department, anticipate leasing office space as a result of the sales.
Mayor Bloomberg has committed to reducing the City’s office space by 1.2 million square feet and $36 million in annual costs.
An auction of other city-owned property in the outer boroughs takes place on May 3.