The Real Deal New York

Surveying FiDi’s ‘restricted’ commercial buildings

Some 10 million SF of office space is now coded yellow, following Sandy

November 09, 2012 03:30PM
By Adam Pincus

From left: signs at 4 New York Plaza, 1 New York Plaza and 120 Wall Street, respectively

Many of Lower Manhattan’s large commercial landlords have been reluctant to provide information on how their properties fared in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but recent assessments by city inspectors provide a limited window into the damage.

Over the past week, officials from the city’s Department of Buildings and other agencies catalogued the impact of Sandy on properties within the city’s evacuation zone A. These assessments will determine which buildings can be reopened.

The inspections were ordered by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who on Oct. 31, announced the plan to inspect commercial and residential buildings, and provide them with a color-coded designation: green, meaning the building is safe to enter, yellow meaning that workers should proceed with caution, or red, meaning that the building was unsafe to enter.

A survey by The Real Deal of 18 large office buildings with a total of nearly 10 million square feet of office space near the East River found that the inspectors rated virtually all of them as yellow, or “restricted use,” meaning they were closed to tenants but remediation and repair work was proceeding. TRD‘s survey did not spot a red notice on any of the buildings surveyed.

Commercial firm Jones Lang LaSalle said in a report today that there were about 35 million square feet of office space closed in Lower Manhattan, an area with about 101 million square feet of office space in total.

What follows are the notes the inspectors wrote describing the damage in each of the buildings. Several buildings, although they appeared closed and under repair, did not have a notice visible.

• 88 Pine Street, a 624,000-square-foot building where QBE Insurance Group leases about 151,000 square feet, was inspected on Nov. 2: “Boiler had flooding, basement, lobby, switchgear. Fire alarm was under water, minimal flooding at time of inspection.”

• 120 Wall Street, a 607,172-square-foot building, home to nonprofits such as the women’s advocacy organization Catalyst, was inspected on Nov. 2: “Severe flooding — pumped out all water. No power, on generator. No structural damage. No fire alarm.”

• 110 Wall Street, a 292,627-square-foot building with tenants such as law firm Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, was inspected on Nov. 2: “30 feet flooded in basement. Water being pumped out. No power, no fire alarm. Standpipe operational.”

• 7 Hanover Square (50 Water Street), an 845,000-square-foot tower, home to Guardian Life Insurance, was inspected on Nov. 3: “Severe flooding in basement. No fire alarm, no power. Damaged face brick in loading dock.”

• 4 New York Plaza, a 1.1-million-square-foot office tower with tenants such as JPMorgan Chase, was inspected on Nov. 3: “Two lower floors fully flooded, one lower floor partially flooded and lobby partially flooded.”

• 125 Broad Street, a 1.45-million-square-foot tower where the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell is a major tenant, was inspected on Nov. 2: “All three sublevels fully flooded, all mechanicals on lowest floor flooded.”

• 1 New York Plaza, a 2.5-million-square-foot building with tenants such as the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and investment bank Morgan Stanley, was inspected on Nov. 2: “All three sublevels flooded. Damage to mechanical systems, [illegible].”

• 1 State Street Plaza, a 769,867-square-foot tower with tenants such as ratings firm Fitch was inspected on Nov. 2: “No active sprinkler system, no active electrical.”

• 33 Whitehall Street, a 435,000-square-foot office building where Fitch also has space, as well as the law firm Russo & Toner, was inspected on Nov. 2: “No active sprinkler system, no active electrical.”

• 100 Broad Street, a 35,374-square-foot commercial building, was inspected on Nov. 2: “Sprinkler under water at cellar. No electric.”

• 90 Broad Street a 393,989-square-foot office tower with tenants such as food analysis and marketing firm Blue World, was inspected on Nov. 3: “No active sprinkler system. No active electrical.”

• 80 Broad Street, the 410,000-square-foot tower has tenants such as trading firm Forte Capital Group, and was inspected on Nov. 3: “No active sprinkler system. No electric.”

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