70 Pine conversion plans up in the air

March 29, 2011 09:41AM

70 Pine Street, Young Woo of Youngwoo & Associates

As 70 Pine Street heads to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for recognition of its historic past, the future of the 66-story Art Deco skyscraper is up in the air.

According to the Post, a plan to convert the former American International Group building’s upper portion into high-end condominiums while keeping the lower portion of the building as offices has been scrapped by the new owners of the tower, who purchased it, along with the adjacent 72 Wall Street, for $150 million from American International Group in 2009.

Those owners are a group led by Korea’s Kumho Investment Bank — not, as previously reported, New York developer Young Woo, of Youngwoo & Associates, who was previously believed to have bought the properties with some equity from KIB. In fact, KIB now says its group owns 100 percent of 70 Pine Street and that Woo is “just part of the [group of] advisers” created to manage the building.

Woo had announced his office and condos conversion plan at a real estate forum in October 2009, just after the acquisition. AIG moved out of the building at the end of last year, and in apparent accordance with that plan, 500,000 square feet of office space is still listed with a Cushman & Wakefield leasing team led by Andrew Peretz.

But KIB general manager Han Cho said the space is no longer on the market, and that restoration architects Beyer Blinger Belle have been hired to create a new proposal for the now mostly-vacant tower.

Most of 72 Wall Street has been sold, Cho said, though an 11-story brick portion of it known as 74 Wall Street is still under KIB control. [Post]