60 Wall to exit the ’80s dated FiDi tower set for makeover

60 Wall to exit the ’80s dated FiDi tower set for makeover

Hello to a more public-friendly 60 Wall St. — and farewell to one of the least-loved public spaces of the boom-and-bust 1980s. 

One of the Reagan Decade’s defining office skyscrapers is about to undergo a more than $250 million upgrade for the post-pandemic era. Changes to 60 Wall planned by owner Paramount Group at the soon-to-be-empty, 47-story, 1.6 million square-foot tower include a more open portico and heavily windowed façade treatment on lower floors to create transparency with the street, and an enhanced ventilation system that utilizes virus-blocking, MERV 15 filtration. 

But the centerpiece will be a stunning new public atrium lobby to replace the badly dated one installed by original tower owner JP Morgan, which later sold it to Deutsche Bank. Deutsche, the only current tenant, will begin moving to Time Warner Center this year. Paramount will start work on the redesign when Deutsche’s lease expires in June of 2022. 

The vast original lobby was never as popular as architects Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo hoped. 

Flared-top columns were meant to echo the tower’s Postmodern, Greek Revival-inspired facade. But critic Paul Goldberger called it a “cloying mix of white marble, lots of trelliswork, mirrors and marble grids” that was “oddly frilly . . . Like an ice cream parlor blown up to monumental scale.” It’s temporarily closed due to Covid-19 concerns. 

The new look by architects Kohn Pedersen Fox will be clean-lined and verdant with a 100-foot- tall, block-spanning “green wall” and a skylight cut through the tower podium. A grand staircase, subject to MTA review, will connect with the subway station below. 

The atrium will “unite Pine and Wall streets” to help “bring the people of this neighborhood together,” said KPF design principal Hugh Trumbull. The redesign requires city approval because it’s a privately owned public space, or POPS. 

A CBRE team led by Paul Amrich and Howard Fiddle will handle leasing. Tenants will likely be able to move in by mid-2023. But the tower must compete for new tenants with nearby FiDi addresses which also are vacant or about to be. Some 800,000 square feet will be available at 80 Pine St. and more than 900,000 square feet are currently empty at 111 Wall St. 

Paramount CEO Albert Behler is confident that 60 Wall’s modern, column-free floor plates, panoramic views and the planned upgrades will carry the day. “With the reimagining of the building, 60 Wall will compete with the best in Manhattan, including new construction,” he said. 

WeWork is still alive and kicking. The flexible space provider, which is under new management, still has lots of Manhattan office space two years after the ouster of founder and CEO Adam Neumann. Now led by Sandeep Lakhmi Mathrani, it’s finding takers for its flexible, plug-in facilities aimed at creative and “enterprise” firms that first put it on the map. 

At RXR’s 620 Sixth Ave., the Ladies Mile Beaux-Arts style building that’s home to Bed, Bath and Beyond, WeWork just signed two “cool factor” tenants for nearly 140,000 square feet. (The deals are actually subleases, since WeWork signs direct leases with landlords and then leases them in turn to space users.) 

Cutting-edge software firm Palantir Technologies took 89,000 square feet on the sixth floor, moving from the Meatpacking District. Separately, Current Financial signed for 43,000 square feet on the seventh floor. The building has a total 525,000 square feet of offices. 

WeWork is under new management and still has lots of Manhattan office space.
TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Sources said the asking rents were a hefty $115 per square foot. It couldn’t be learned what the taking rents were because brokers either declined to comment or couldn’t be reached. Flatiron sources said a JLL team led by Clark Finney and Howard Hersch repped WeWork on both leases. The sources said that Current Financial was repped by Rob Kluge and Adam Henick of Current Real Estate Advisors and that Newmark’s Michael Morris and Nick Berger acted for Palantir. 

A WeWork-watcher who wasn’t involved at 620 Sixth said the leases “show that their original concept still works. They’ve been restructuring leases, terminating them at some locations. But these clearly show the continued viability of founder Adam Neumann’s business model.” 

In the latest sign that Times Square is coming back, restaurateur Shelly Fireman has signed a lease for a nearly 5,000-square-foot eatery at the landmarked Paramount Building at 1501 Broadway. 

It will be a much larger version of Fireman Hospitality Group’s Brooklyn USA Delicatessen on Seventh Avenue near West 57th Street, offering hot pastrami, corned beef and turkey reubens plus Roman-style pizza, chicken soup and egg sandwiches. 

general view of the old Paramount Theatre sign located at 1501 Broadway
Shelly Fireman has signed a lease for an eatery at the landmarked Paramount Building.
Christopher Sadowski

The casual-concept place will be on the West 43d Street side of the building, which is also home to Hard Rock Café. 

Newmark’s Ben Birnbaum, Ross Berkowitz, Andre Taub and Jason Wecker were the sole brokers. Levin Management and Rosemark Management repped the ownership. 

In more good news, Fireman’s RedEye Grill on Seventh Avenue across from Carnegie Hall will reopen on May 18.

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