Volume 20, Number 50 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | April 27 - May 3, 2011
Photo courtesy of Eastern Consolidated
The building at 116 John St. was ripe for an office to residential conversion.
Deal gives 400 new apartments to FiDi
Lower Manhattan will receive over 400 new rental units thanks to a recent real estate deal brokered by Eastern Consolidated that will convert the building at 116 John St. from office to residential.
Stuart Gross, principal and executive managing director for Eastern, said he called up the owner of the building, Nathan Berman, last year and explained that there might be a possibility for Eastern Consolidated to step in and help him structure a joint venture to convert the property.
“The owner has had the property for quite some time and there are a number of pressures on the office market,” said Gross. “It was a building that needed major investment to be a functioning office building in today’s market place. It was a prime candidate for conversion to residential.”
Gross worked with the Berman, Hacienda International Realty, Inc., and Metroloft Management, which has over 10 years experience in the office to residential conversion process in the Financial District, to structure the transaction.
According to Gross, buildings ripe for conversion from office to residential are ones that haven’t had major infrastructure improvements or some of the cosmetic features tenants in the office market find desirable.
As for the building’s location, Gross acknowledged the need for more residential units in lieu of the recent population boom experienced by Lower Manhattan in the last 10 years.
“There are so many amazing elements to the neighborhood, with schools and other aspects, that support a diverse population… families and yuppies and the like,” said Gross. “It’s a cumulative momentum.”
The building has 280,000 sq. ft. vacant at the moment and part of the conversion is already underway. Some apartments will come online late this year.
— John Bayles