By Holly Dutton
Nearly 30 years after buying the site, developer Francis Greenburger is finally ready to build a gleaming new tower at 50 West Street.
Last week, the CEO of Time Equities landed a $400 million loan that will allow him to start work on the luxury tower this fall, with an expected completion date of 2016.
“This building will bring a very high quality lifestyle to the area,” said Greenburger.
Greenburger first purchased the site in 1983. He held a groundbreaking for the project in June 2008, but construction came to a screeching halt after the financial collapse just months later. Five years on, the project is finally fully funded.
Cushman & Wakefield helped arrange a joint venture for Greenburger with Elliott Management, a global hedge fund headquartered in New York City, to invest $110 million in the 63-story 50 West Street.
Steve Kohn, Dave Karson and Chris Moyer of Cushman & Wakefield’s Equity, Debt & Structured Finance group arranged the venture.
“This building is going to be an important part of the Manhattan skyline and should help further the rapid development of Downtown,” said Karson, a Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director.
“Time Equities and Elliott should make an exceptional team, and although deals like this are complex and can be challenging to structure, we expect this partnership to result in a signature project for both groups.”
In addition, the joint venture secured financing from PNC Bank, which led a $288 million construction loan syndication effort along with a lending group that includes Wells Fargo, M&T Bank, Union Bank, MidFirst Bank and Emigrant Bank, bringing the total financing to $398 million.
The Helmet Jahn-designed tower’s original plans included a hotel, but that will not be part of the new plan, which will include condos, one floor of office space, ground floor retail, and Greenburger is particularly focused on bring a “very nice” restaurant to the property.
The developer also noted that in a post-Sandy downtown, the building will meet all of the new FEMA guidelines and all the mechanicals will be up above ground level.
With momentum building around the World Trade Center redevelopment, the new Calatrava transport hub and the Brookfield Place retail overhaul, it’s boom time downtown.
In a survey by The Real Deal released last year, Battery Park was among the top three neighborhoods recording the biggest annual increases in apartment sales. The others were the East Village and Lower East Side.
And a Downtown Alliance report on the status of the area post-Sandy was also a strong signal that the neighborhood had bounced back from the devastating storm.
Average rents in the neighborhood were up seven percent over the previous quarter to $4,273, maintaining a consistent 10 percent premium over the city-wide average rent.
Notable luxury high-rises in the area include Related Companies’ 23-story condo building 225 Rector Place, which held a reception earlier this summer on its rooftop deck reaching the 80 percent sold mark.
A three-bedroom, three-bathroom penthouse unit just closed last month in the building for $2.83 million, according to Streeteasy.
In July, real estate website Property Shark listed the building as number two on the top 10 best-selling buildings of the first half of the year list, with 73 units sold and a median price of $661,800.
Just east of 225 Rector Place in the Financial District, luxury loft building 99 John Street was number 9 on the list, with 36 units sold and a median price of $591,000.
“50 West Street will be an iconic tower for the City and a legacy project for Time Equities,” said Greenburger. “It will join the World Trade Center in defining the new Downtown skyline for generations to come”.
In addition to architect Helmut Jahn – designer of the tower’s façade – Time Equities commissioned interior designer Thomas Juul Hansen for the project. The Albanese Organization will serve as development manager, Hunter Roberts as construction manager, and SLCE as executive architect. Time Equities is targeting a LEED Silver certification.
The 50 West Street site will feature a public pedestrian walk-way which will connect West and Washington Streets. This walk-way is being designed to integrate with the City’s planned West Thames Pedestrian Bridge, creating access over West Street to and from Battery Park City.
“We are excited to commence construction on 50 West Street this fall,” says Robert Singer, project director for Time Equities. “The neighborhood is developing rapidly — and our site provides incredible access to Battery Park City, Wall Street, waterfront parks, high-quality public schools, and subways.”