McGraw-Hill Building exploring resi conversion

SLCE drawing up proposals for one-bedrooms and studios at Midtown tower

A photo illustration of the McGraw-Hill Building at 330 West 42nd Street (Getty, paul_houle - via Wikimedia Commons)
A photo illustration of the McGraw-Hill Building at 330 West 42nd Street (Getty, paul_houle - via Wikimedia Commons)

The latest contender for an office-to-residential makeover is a landmarked building famed for its color-shifting blue-green exterior and its 11-story art deco monikers on top.

The owners of 330 West 42nd Street’s McGraw-Hill Building — the name that adorns the tower’s north and south facades — are toying with turning the building’s upper reaches into luxury rentals, the New York Post reported.

The project would affect the majority of the 35-story building, transforming stories 11 through 32 into residential units. The building’s top two floors — which have larger, 20-foot ceilings — would be repurposed to hold amenities, a spokesperson for the owner said.

The McGraw-Hill building was completed in 1931 and initially served as a printing and loft office tower. The conversion, imagined by SLCE Architects’ Gloria Glass, will include an array of large studios and one-bedrooms with a few two-bedrooms sprinkled in.

The building’s lower 300,000 square feet will be kept as office space.

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The owners have previously explored a conversion. An offering memorandum reported by The Real Deal in 2018 showed a slightly smaller portion of the building, only 18 floors, would be converted from offices to luxury rentals.

Gerard Nocera of Resolution Real Estate, the owner’s representative, told the Post the building is “perfectly suited to a conversion.”

“It is the first skyscraper built horizontally for light and air,” Nocera added.

Nocera said the project intends to deliver the live-work lifestyle of interest to residents in the third year of the pandemic, which saw New Yorkers return in droves to hybrid work arrangements that left office values hanging in the balance.

And contrary to many office-to-resi conversions, Nocera told the Post that the transformation should be a smooth one, logistically.

“One of the beauties of a conversion is that we don’t have to change any of the infrastructure and the elevator banks line-up,” Nocera said, adding that the building’s HVAC system can also be easily converted to serve residential units.

— Suzannah Cavanaugh