Fosun Property Holdings has submitted a plan to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to restore and invigorate the plaza and retail components of the historic 28 Liberty tower in Lower Manhattan.
The project is part of an overall repositioning campaign for the 60-story, 2.2 million-square-foot class-A office tower that seeks to restore the iconic property’s position in Lower Manhattan while further connecting it to residents and workers in the neighborhood.
The proposed project will enhance the building’s retail component by providing access to street-level retail. It will replace a portion of the existing black granite walls at street level with glass facades to engage pedestrian traffic and open sightlines to create a more dynamic visual experience.
The tower facades will remain the same and the project will restore multiple elements the landmarked structure. Notably, the project will restore the landmarked Noguchi Sunken Garden.
“The retail plan will provide a much-needed amenity to Lower Manhattan, offering 200,000 square feet of retail space to accommodate a residential community that has expanded dramatically since 28 Liberty was constructed,” said Bo Wei, chief representative of Fosun International in the U.S. and Vice President of Fosun Property Holdings.
“We respect the landmarked status of the building and the culture of Lower Manhattan, and we will honor the building’s legacy as a landmark of timeless design, maintaining the building within the parameters of the LPC process.”
“When this building was constructed in 1961, Lower Manhattan was a business district with only 5,000 residents,” said Erik Horvat, managing director at Fosun Property Holdings.
“Today, more than 61,000 residents live in the neighborhood, which has become a vibrant, 24/7 community with diverse corporate tenants and young, creative employees. Our plan connects this thriving community to the building and the plaza.”
Constructed in 1961, 28 Liberty (formerly One Chase Manhattan Plaza) was designed by renowned architectural and design firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), the same firm Fosun is using to design the retail and plaza plan. The project will also retain the original engineering firm Jaros, Baum & Bolles (JB&B).
The building and plaza underwent numerous changes between 1961 and 2009, at which time the building received landmarks designation. SOM’s current plans are in keeping with the landmark status of the building and plaza, and the square footage and use of the plaza will remain the same.
Building owner Fosun has made a long-term commitment to the property and to the surrounding community. Since acquiring the building in December 2013, Fosun has initiated a renovation program, including the lobby, elevators, and critical infrastructure. Fosun, in collaboration with the Downtown Alliance, has initiated free Wifi service for the convenience of visitors to the building’s plaza.