The tower at 111 Wall St. is emblematic of the crisis that faces the Manhattan commercial real-estate market – and the city itself.
The 1960s vintage tower re-emerged as a downtown gem after a top-to-bottom redesign from its ugly-duck original form.
But the timing couldn’t be worse for its owners, who invested nearly half a billion dollars and faced a slump in demand for office space.
Nightingale Group and Wafra Capital Partners bought a long-term leasehold on the 25-story, 1.2 million-square-foot tower in 2019 for $175 million. Citigroup moved out,
When financial and media companies were looking for low-cost but viable alternatives to luxurious, brand-new towers, this seemed like a solid, diamond-in-the-rough investment — and no one has yet heard about the coronavirus or the coronavirus. Hadn’t heard of From-Home.
The owners boldly embarked on a $100 million modernization and architecturally iconic “replacement”, which included a new, bronze-trimmed curtain-glass facade and spent another $220 million in 2021 for land beneath the tower.
But the new gleaming profile, East River views, impressive tenant amenities and state-of-the-art electronics and mechanical systems may not be enough to lure tenants to 111 Wall when downtown is limping under 21%, the city’s highest office vacancy rate. ,
In addition the building must compete with nearby properties, such as 60 Wall St.Which are also empty or almost empty.
“I don’t know of any company that is moving into this area water street And the river,” said a broker.
“I wish him well.”
The story of 111 Wall St. is repeated throughout the city.
Whether they are long-term owners or new investors, they are occupying the buildings and sweating the big question – does anyone want to move in?