The Real Deal New York

Tribeca expands east

New condos and hotels spring up on a four-block stretch once home to city office workers
By Rich Bockmann | October 01, 2015 07:00AM

tribeca-mapThe stretch of Broadway between Walker and Worth streets may technically be part of Tribeca, but it is not the land of celebrity chefs and couture kids-clothing boutiques.

Indeed, the souvenir shops and bodegas that line the strip are something of a final frontier in Manhattan. But that down-market status is quickly changing. There are nearly a dozen development projects either recently completed or in the works in what is now known in the real estate lexicon as “East Tribeca.”

“The market in general has moved to the east and south,” said Avison Young broker Jason Meister, who was part of a team that sold 93 Worth Street for $50 million in 2011. “When you have robust development, inventory starts to get tight. What you’re seeing is the boundary of Tribeca moving east.”

More than 600 condos and hotel rooms are set to come online on the four-block strip in the next few years. And the streetscape is already morphing.

Meister, who is marketing a 3,000-square-foot retail condo at the base of an older residential conversion at 356 Broadway, said trendier shops are starting to show more interest in the area, pointing to the neighborhood’s latest newcomer: a fashionable Gourmet Garage supermarket at 366 Broadway.

Below is a rundown of some of the recently launched and pipeline projects that are remaking the stretch.

1) 396 Broadway

The northernmost of East Tribeca’s new developments is No. 396 — a 10-story, brick-and-limestone former office building with terra-cotta detail. The Midtown South-based Bridgeton Holdings, headed by Atit Jariwala, is now planning to convert the Renaissance Revival building to a boutique hotel. Bridgeton bought the building, which stretches the entire blockfront along Walker Street, for $42 million last year from Isaac Chetrit, cousin of brothers Joseph and Meyer Chetrit.  The Chetrit family had long toyed with what to do with the building, which it bought at a foreclosure auction in 1994 for $1 million. At one point Isaac’s company AB & Sons reportedly had plans to convert the 61,000-square-foot structure into 52 luxury rentals. But in 2011 the firm reversed course and filed a permit with the Department of Buildings to convert it into a 126-key hotel before ultimately selling it. A spokesperson for Bridgeton said the company has not yet settled on a room count, but noted that the “new luxury boutique hotel” would have “multiple restaurants.” The project is on schedule to be completed next summer.

2) 391 Broadway

No. 391 is the oldest remaining example of Venetian architecture in the neighborhood, according to the 1992 Landmarks Preservation Commission report that designated a large swath of the area as the Tribeca East Historic District.The building is notable for its open, one-story arches on the front of the building’s upper floors. The developer Itzhaki Acquisitions bought the five-story building in 2012 for $8.5 million with plans to convert the office lofts into four luxury condos.  Work stalled, but according to the developer’s website the building is “is undergoing a complete gut renovation and conversion to floor-through residential condos each with private keyed elevator entry.” Moreover, the company, headed by Erez Itzhaki, filed plans earlier this summer showing it intends to construct a penthouse on the roof.

391 Broadway

391 Broadway

3) 56 Walker Street

Just off Broadway near the corner of Walker, developer Six Sigma is converting this five-story, marble-façade loft building into a quartet of three- and four-bedroom apartments. True to Six Sigma’s style, the project will be decked out with amenities. The company, helmed by president Jason Lee, is simultaneously working on a condo conversion in West Chelsea where each unit will feature a personal swimming pool. The units in the Walker Street building, which the developer bought early last year for $18 million, feature home-automated technology systems that allow homeowners to use their iPhones to control everything from dimming the lights to turning on the AC in their homes. The interior design, which was done by Carlyle Designs, includes marble fireplaces in each apartment. Douglas Elliman’s Eklund and Gomes Team is handling sales and has one 2,670-square-foot unit listed for $6.7 million, according to the listings website StreetEasy.

4) 372 Broadway

Manhattan boasts far fewer quaint alleyways than the movies would suggest. But the ones that do exist are highly coveted.  Partners Megalith Capital Management and Imperial Development Group thought highly enough of the three-block-long alleyway — which runs parallel to Broadway between White and Canal streets — that they decided to place an entrance at the back of their condo conversion and rebrand it 6 Cortlandt Alley. Early last year the developers won Landmarks approval to build a glass addition on top of the boarded-up, five-story loft building, which they plan to convert to five condos.  The building will feature a pair of penthouses with more than 1,000 square feet of outdoor space, a doorman and a “separate lobby off of the very private Cortlandt Alley,” Imperial’s Vice President Ryan Kaplan told TRD in an email. Susan Wires at Stribling & Associates is spearheading sales. Completion is scheduled for mid-2016.

5) 369-371 Broadway

The pair of five-story buildings that once sat at 369-371 Broadway was excluded from the East Tribeca Historic District. That paved the way for their demolition and redevelopment.  The spot is now home to 5 Franklin Place, the 53-unit boxy glass-and-brick tower designed by ODA New York and built by the Elad Group.  (The development has been a long time coming. Manhattan-based Sleepy Hudson bought the site in 2006 and launched sales before losing the site in foreclosure to a group that eventually sold to Elad.) The 20-story building — which has a gym, rooftop pool and an automated system that parks residents’ cars in the cellar — sold out soon after launching in 2013. The building contains four penthouses up to 3,400 square feet, a decision Richard Cantor of the development-marketing firm Cantor Pecoralla said wasn’t necessarily seen as a home run in the emerging neighborhood. “We weren’t certain about that,” he said. “We thought it was a bit of a gamble.” Cantor said that to his surprise, a buyer snapped up two penthouse units and combined them into a 5,000-square-foot spread. Last month, several units in the building were in contract for prices ranging from $1.1 million to $8.5 million, StreetEasy shows.

6) 361 Broadway

361 Broadway

361 Broadway

When the city landmarked the former James White Building at 361 Broadway in 1983, the commission’s report noted that it boasted “some of the finest and most inventive cast-iron ornament anywhere in New York or the United States.” That was not lost on developer Knightsbridge Properties, which dubbed its conversion of the six-story building the “Cast Iron House.” The developer also brought on Pritzker Prize-winning architect Shigeru Ban to restore the façade on the circa-1882 building and construct a two-story glass addition on top. “There are only two cast-iron foundries in the U.S.,” said Knightsbridge CEO Jourdan Krauss, who added that the company spent $10 million to restore the aged exterior, which had more than 4,000 pieces of cast iron. The 13-unit conversion includes a sauna and steam room, lounge, and hydrotherapy spa in addition to a playroom, yoga and fitness studio. Three apartments on the upper floors feature 25-foot ceilings and the two penthouses, which marketer Corcoran Sunshine has yet to release, come with abundant outdoor space. “We’re keeping them as the icing on the cake,” Krauss said. “There’s not even anything close to it for the value,” he added. The units that have been released on the market range in price from $4.7 million to $11.2 million, with five apartments listed as in-contract since sales launched a year ago.

7) 351-357 Broadway

Toll Brothers City Living is planning to begin demolition soon on this site between Franklin and Leonard streets, where it will erect a 19-story condo tower. While the 98-unit project is still in the design phases, Toll Brothers president David Von Spreckelsen told TRD that the building will have a terra-cotta exterior and include a swimming pool and screening room. The building will stand out as one of the few ground-up developments on this four-block stretch of Broadway.  While the neighborhood was made famous for its loft conversions, Von Spreckelsen said he believes that there are plenty of buyers who are in the market for new construction. “Some people like the old-style buildings, but they’re often deep and not as efficient,” he said. “Then there are people who are really looking at how to get the best bang for their buck in terms of square footage, and they want to buy in a new building.”

8) 101 Leonard Street (350 Broadway)

Italian development firm Bizzi & Partners bought the hulking, 117,000-square-foot office building at the corner of Broadway and Leonard for $53 million in 2012.  The 66-unit building, which is being converted to condos and has been rebranded as the Leonard, includes a large, open rooftop with space to grill — and chill. The conversion of the 12-story building, headed up by SLCE Architects, included a pair of 2,600-plus square-foot penthouses that are under contract for more than $2,000 per square foot, according to StreetEasy.  Sales launched in 2013 with Douglas Elliman’s Andrew Anderson and the project sold out earlier this year.

101 Leonard Street

101 Leonard Street

9) 346 Broadway 

Easily the most contentious of all the new projects in East Tribeca, 346 Broadway was once where New Yorkers went to argue over parking tickets.  But in 2012, the city initiated a competitive bidding process to redevelop the 400,000-square-foot building, which is also home to the Manhattan summons courthouse and several city agencies.  A partnership of the Peebles Corporation and Elad Properties, which filed plans to convert the property into 151 apartments, won the rights to develop it. It is not clear, though, how the project will pan out. Neighborhood groups have argued that developer Don Peebles is scaling back the square footage he agreed to set aside as community space, and this summer preservationists filed suit in an attempt to block the developers from converting the building’s clock tower into a penthouse apartment. Both developers declined to comment.

10) 87 Leonard Street

Ben Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group is busy at work transforming the 19th-Century cast-iron building at 87 Leonard into an exclusive seven-unit boutique condo. Five of the units in the building, which is located on Leonard west of Broadway, are 4,650-square-feet, full-floor apartments. The remaining two are duplex penthouses. In addition, the three listed units have an average listing price of roughly $1,900 per foot. And two of those units are in contract — both for just over $8.5 million. “I think the big thing is the value they’re getting from this kind of project,” said Maggie Leigh Marshall, a senior vice president on Elliman’s De Niro team, which is handling sales.

11) 60 White Street

93 Worth Street

93 Worth Street

The Italian-based Sorgente Group, headed by Veronica Mainetti in the U.S., bought a trio of cast-iron loft buildings on White Street five years ago for $23 million, and converted a pair of them into an energy efficient “passive house” with eight units. Built to the low-energy standards created by the Passivhaus Institute in Germany, the conversion is composed of 80 percent reclaimed materials. It also has a rooftop that collects rainwater and virtually airtight insulation. The building features a pair of 3,000-square-foot penthouses asking about $9.3 million each. Sales launched earlier this year, and two of the units are under contract. Elliman’s Frances Katzen, who is heading marketing, said the apartments appeal to the “sophisticated connoisseur.”  She noted, “It’s a very different building from the sheetrock, cookie-cutter rubbish.”

12) 93 Worth Street

Izaki Group Investments USA bought this 130,000-square-foot, limestone building from Jason Meister’s Avison Young team in 2011 for $49.7 million, and has converted it into 91 units. At the time, the 1924 building was home to the city’s Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and a number of landlord-tenant attorneys’ offices. ODA New York designed the conversion, which highlights brass features and includes an 18,000-square-foot rooftop addition. CORE is handling marketing at the building, which opened its doors last year and has one penthouse unit yet to be released, according to Izaki USA CEO Eldad Blaustein. The final unit, a 3,300-square-foot apartment, is asking about $3,000 per square foot — about double what Blaustein said he underwrote the building at back in 2012. “No doubt the market has changed,” he said. “That corridor was lacking inventory . . . [and] it’s become a unique, attractive destination.”