Financial District landlords work with LPC ahead of hotel conversion

While the Landmarks Preservation Commission comes under fire from multiple angles, one Financial District landlord is working with the agency on the designation for his building. The New York Post reported that Allan Fried, who bought the vacant 15-story American Stock Exchange building at 86 Trinity Place for $17 million last year with Michael Steinhardt, wrote to the LPC saying he has no objection to designating the building’s exterior — even as he plans a hotel conversion of the building.

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The Post said Fried’s GHC Development plans to lease out the lower floors of the building, including the former 60-foot-tall ground-floor trading area, to retailers, while transforming the upper floors into 174 hotel rooms. In order to unlock the retail value, Fried and Steinhardt would need to enlarge the street-level windows and make other alterations to the facade.

But the owners are trying to minimize confrontation with the LPC, whose aggressive landmarking was the impetus for the recent creation of an activist group lobbying against the committee, and will support the landmarking process while seeking a “certificate of appropriateness” to make changes to the lower floors once tenants are in place. The Post said the LPC will likely designate the building later this month but only after working with the ownership group. [Post]