Alchemy closes on upper portion of Woolworth

A $68 million deal to transforming the top 30 floors of the iconic Woolworth Building into 40 luxury condominiums has been finalized and the units are expected to be ready for occupancy by 2015, according to the New York Times. An investment group led by Alchemy Properties closed July 31 on the upper portion of the building from a partnership of the Witkoff Group and Cammeby’s International, which will continue to lease the bottom 28 floors as offices. Witkoff and Cammeby’s, led by Steve Witkoff and Ruby Schron, respectively, purchased the entire building for $137.5 million in 1998.

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The 57-story building’s new apartments will be some of the highest in the city at approximately 700 feet above the ground, with one five-level, 8,000-square-foot penthouse, occupying the copper cupola reaching 792 feet . The top-floor penthouse will also include the original observation deck accessed by a private elevator.

The renovation — which Alchemy estimated would cost an additional $90 million over the purchase price — will restore some of the buildings forgotten amenities, including a basement pool that company  Frank Winfield Woolworth himself is said to have used. Prices for the units have not been set but the developer is expecting nearly $3,000 per square foot — $1,750 above the average condo price in the same zip code in the second quarter of 2012.

“It’s very exciting for us,” Alchemy Properties president Kenneth Horn, said. “We’ve done a lot of historic buildings in the city, but this is ‘the mama,’ as they say.” [NYT] — Christopher Cameron