Fosun to create 200K sf of new retail at 28 Liberty

Landmarks grants Chinese firm permission to create below-grade space
August 07, 2015 01:00PM

Chinese investment firm Fosun received city approval to create 200,000 square feet of retail space beneath 28 Liberty Street, the Financial District office tower formerly known as 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza.

The Shanghai-based firm won permission Tuesday from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to create entrances at 28 Liberty Street’s plaza that will connect the street level to five below-ground floors that it plans to lease to retail tenants. Fosun also got permission to cut out portions of the 60-story, 2.2 million-square-foot tower’s black marble façade, which will enable the installation of glass retail storefronts at the property.

The company is looking to fill three of 28 Liberty Street’s five below-ground floors, with JP Morgan Chase – from which Fosun acquired the building for $725 million in 2013 – currently using two of the floors for back-office functions, according to Crain’s.

The approvals will enable Fosun to create revenue from the vacant and windowless underground floors. Developer Harry Macklowe was among the first to capitalize on such lower-level retail redevelopment when he brought Apple to the space beneath the plaza at the GM Building in Midtown, which Macklowe owned at the time.

Landmarks previously rejected Fosun’s plans for 28 Liberty Street in May. The office tower was designated a landmark in 2009. Fosun signed its first major tenant at the building, insurance company Ironshore, earlier this year. [Crain’s]Rey Mashayekhi