The Financial District has long been the new residential neighborhood whose time is coming. But with massive new projects like the 51-story 2 Gold Street nearing completion, the future is, well, very near.
“It s like the chicken and the egg,” according to Charles Singer, director of market research for the Rockrose Development Corp., builder of 2 Gold. “The stores don t come until the people come and the people don t come until the stores come.”
Singer says that s changing, and that, “the market seems to be able to absorb all the conversions and new construction. Downtown is truly becoming a 24/7 area. I think we ve gained enough density to allow more and more stores to keep later hours.”
If density is the key, late-night pizza parlors and Chinese takeout shops hallmarks of a burgeoning community will be here in no time. The 650 rental apartments at 2 Gold will open starting in March, when its first group of tenants arrive. The project will have company — 90 West Street, a 410-unit rental conversion of a 1902 Cass Gilbert office building by developers Richard Born and Ira Drukier right next to Ground Zero, is scheduled to start leasing in March. Nearby, developer Joe Monian just started sheetrocking the former Downtown Athletic Club Building at 19 West Street, which will have 289 rental units ready in May.
Those new arrivals follow last summer s opening of Glenwood s 45-story rental 10 Liberty Street, the 476-unit Crest rental building at 63 Wall Street, and the start of sales for the more than 325 high-end condos in Downtown by Philippe Starck at 15 Broad Street.
The new buildings are catering not just to traders who want to roll out of bed and into the office. Instead, bargain-hunting renters are now a piece of the market. “Before Sept. 11,” observes Singer, “we had 65 percent of tenants working on Wall Street in banking and finance. But now we re getting more and more people from Midtown who realize they can get a newer apartment with more amenities at less rent than in Midtown.”
“If they can save $400 or $500 a month, it pays for them to make the switch,” he said.
Of the 650 units at 2 Gold, 64 percent are one-bedrooms, 18 percent two-bedrooms, 12 percent studios and 4 percent three-bedrooms. Rents for the studios start at $1,790; one-bedrooms, $2,200; two-bedrooms with two baths, $3,000; and three-bedrooms start at $4,100. While the building doesn t offer one or two month s of rent-free incentives, it provides one that will be more valuable in the long run: because of its Liberty Bond financing, the apartments are all rent-stabilized.
In case neighborhood amenities don t appear quickly enough, 2 Gold tenants needn t worry: they may never have to leave the building. There s a 24-hour concierge, ATM machine, video dispensing machine and the ground-level retail space is likely to be occupied by food services.
The entire third floor is devoted to tenant amenities, including a 3,000-square-foot fitness center with massage room and classes, children s playroom, tree-lined outdoor terrace, huge laundry facility, and a tenant lounge with plasma TV, billiard table, lounge furniture and WiFi. There s also a landscaped roof deck.
Finishes include hardwood floors, granite countertops and Professional Series Frigidaire appliances in the kitchens; there are marble vanity tops and sliding glass tub enclosures in the bathrooms. Some units have balconies, 11-foot ceilings, windowed kitchens and floor-to-ceiling windows.
The architect for 2 Gold is Avinash K. Malhotra, a prolific designer in the Downtown area whose other projects include the Ocean on West Street, 90W on Washington Street and 63 Wall Street, among others.
While the exterior of the high rise is contemporary, its base is limestone to complement the limestone and brick facades of neighboring buildings. To pay homage to the historic legacy of the Wall Street area, Rockrose preserved the front wall of a five-story red-brick house on Pearl Street. The façde provides an entrance to the building s on-site garage. A sculpture for the main entrance plaza on Gold Street is designed by Gustavo Bonevardi, one of the designers of the “Tribute in Light” memorial near the World Trade Center.