Bob Gladstone, Gemdale put FiDi supertall on hold

Developers will also shrink the size of the project, though a new timeline is unclear

Jan.January 23, 2020 08:31 AM
45 Broad Street and Madison Equities CEO Robert Gladstone (Credit: Getty Images)

45 Broad Street and Madison Equities CEO Robert Gladstone (Credit: Getty Images)

Madison Equities and Gemdale Properties’ supertall condo at 45 Broad Street will be delivered shorter and later than expected, The Real Deal has learned.

A spokesperson for the developer confirmed that the condominium project is being put on hold due to “market conditions.” It’s not clear when the development team — which no longer includes Pizzarotti — will revive the project. When they do, the tower will be 80 feet shorter than the 1,115-foot-tall project initially pitched to meet Federal Aviation Administration requirements, according to Department of Building filings.

“45 Broad Street remains a top priority for the development team, and we have strong long-term confidence in the project’s viability,” a spokesperson for Madison and Gemdale said. “Due to short-term conditions in the Lower Manhattan market, we have decided to delay on constructing the building in the near future.”

Sales in FiDi sank almost 45 percent quarter over quarter at the end of 2019, according to a market report from Platinum Properties. There were 26 deals in the final quarter, the report showed, compared to 47 the previous quarter and 32 in the same period one year ago. The wider Manhattan market is also grappling with an oversupply of luxury inventory that could take more than six years to sell.

Confirmation of the delay at the 45 Broad Street follows years without a clear timeline for completion.

In 2015, Robert Gladststone’s Madison Equities acquired the site for $86 million, securing a $55 million mortgage from Mack Real Estate, according to public records. In 2016, Gemdale — one of China’s largest developers — paid $69.9 million for an 81.3 percent stake.

Gladstone told TRD in 2017 that the firm needed to secure roughly $280 million in financing for the project.  That year, the project’s acquisition loan was refinanced  with $56 million from HSBC Bank. In 2019, it refinanced again, securing $61.5 million from Shanghai Commercial Bank.

Last July, Gladstone told Commercial Observer the project was “still in foundation phase.”

“All the drilling and piling is now completed and now we’re starting on the actual pouring of the foundation,” he said. “That will go on for four months and it will have taken us two years to do this and a lot more money than we wanted to spend.”

In an early post on its website, Pizzarotti detailed some of the technical challenges the building posed, pointing to its “location, height and difficult façade.”

“The site sits directly across from the New York Stock Exchange and access is controlled by NYC Counterterrorism, making the project very logistically challenging,” the post said.

Since its entrance into the U.S. market, Pizzarotti has become entangled in various lawsuits with clients and subcontractors, and been replaced on a number of projects. In fact, at a project a few blocks away from 45 Broad, Pizzarotti is locked in an ugly legal dispute with Fortis Property Group. The developer and general contractor blame each other for the misalignment of the condo tower at 161 Maiden Lane.

Representatives for the firm didn’t immediately return requests seeking comment.

Write to Sylvia Varnham O’Regan at [email protected] and Kathryn Brenzel at [email protected]

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