The Daily Dirt: A tale of two office buildings 

Bill Rudin talks conversions

Rudin Awaits Chance to Convert 845 Third Ave: Daily Dirt
Bill Rudin and 845 Third Avenue (Rudin Management, Getty)

Two blocks can make a big difference. 

The auditing firm KPMG plans to move its headquarters from Rudin Management’s 345 Park Avenue to 2 Manhattan West, freeing up half a million square feet of space. Bill Rudin said prospective tenants are “lining up outside the door” for that space.

Meanwhile, at 845 Third Avenue, another Rudin building two blocks east, no one’s biting.

“We’ve got space galore, and nobody’s looking at it,” he said.

Rudin pointed to the fact that the building was constructed in the 1960s and has low ceilings, lots of columns and no amenities. The company’s Park Avenue property is around the same age and was designed by the same architect — Emery Roth & Sons — but has bigger floor plates and, obviously, is on Park Avenue. (It’s also Rudin’s headquarters.)

At NYU’s Conference on Capital Markets in Real Estate on Thursday, Rudin said the company is waiting to see if the city and state will pass legislation necessary to convert the Third Avenue building, as well as others in the area.

His company had also played the waiting game at 55 Broad Street, holding onto the vacant  property for five years after its tenant, investment banking firm Drexel Burnham Lambert, went bankrupt. In 1995, the state approved tax breaks to incentivize businesses to move to Lower Manhattan. Changes during that time also made possible the planned conversion of that building to residential use.

Even if Rudin’s firm has the capacity to wait, it’s not clear New York City does. RXR’s Scott Rechler warned that the government must act soon to allow more conversions of old, vacant office space.

“If we don’t intervene now, this reinvention of our urban ecosystem could be a 20-year problem,” he said. “It is almost political malpractice that some of these policies are not being instituted.”

What we’re thinking about: Gov. Kathy Hochul says the ball is in the legislature’s court when it comes to housing policy. Will the governor offer her Gowanus 421a alternative to Innovation QNS? Send a note to

A thing we’ve learned: Ask and you shall receive. In yesterday’s newsletter, I asked how a skybridge planned on Fifth Avenue will cost $40 million. I got an answer pretty swiftly that the price tag includes a rooftop conference room.

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Elsewhere in New York…

— Mayor Eric Adams says the city will remove parking spots at 1,000 intersections every year, Gothamist reports. The practice, known as daylighting, aims to increase pedestrian safety by improving visibility for drivers making turns.

— Westchester County Executive George Latimer visited Israel ahead of a potential bid for Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s seat, Politico New York reports. The trip comes as Bowman faces criticism for joining a call for a ceasefire in Gaza and for declining to sign a resolution in support of Israel last week. Both men are Democrats.

— Drivers entering Manhattan below 60th Street will likely face a $15 toll starting in the spring, the New York Times reports. That is the daytime price recommended by the Traffic Mobility Review Board for cars in the new congestion pricing program. Trucks could pay as much as $36.

Closing Time

Residential: The priciest residential closing Thursday was $6.6 million for a condo and storage unit at 325 Fifth Avenue in Midtown South.

Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was $13.9 million a one-story warehouse at 524-526 Baltic Street in Gowanus.

New to the Market: The priciest residence to hit the market Thursday was a condo unit at 845 United Nations Plaza in Turtle Bay for $16.5 million. Corcoran has the listing. 

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