Translation from English

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Renovation completed (almost)

Last time I took a photo of this building it was covered with scaffolding.

Near Herald Square, this stretch of Broadway has seen the renovation and restoration of many old buildings...sometimes turned into condo units.

Lots of renovation going on in Lower Midtown and downtown, often on relatively newer buildings. From article in the New York Times:

535 Madison Avenue to invest in the building’s first major upgrades in more than two decades. That the wager, at a cost of more than $5 million, was made in 2009 at the depths of the market only made it riskier.
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
The office building at 535 Madison Avenue, center, is among those renovated during the downturn.
Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times
Work is proceeding at 681 Fifth Avenue.
But with lobby, elevator and electrical renovations now complete at the 37-story office tower, the building’s owners say the bet is already paying off. Since last year, more than half of the 200,000 square feet UBS vacated has been leased, with much of the common space spruced up just as the Manhattan office leasing market begins to show signs of improvement.
“We’re absolutely ecstatic with the way tenants have responded to it,” said Alfred Bradshaw, the executive vice president of the Park Tower Group, which owns and manages the building at Madison and 54th Street. “The response, both from the tenants and the prospective tenants and all the people in the real estate industry, has really been universally positive.” The Park Tower Group and the few other landlords who sank substantial sums into renovations during the economic downturn are now beginning to see results in the form of higher rents and a renewed interest from tenants, the owners said. (Park Tower is asking $75 to $125 per square foot.)
As rents fell across the city in the downturn, some owners who were unwilling or unable to invest in new construction focused instead on refurbishing their properties. Among the buildings renovated from 2007 through 2009 were 535 Madison Avenue, 545 Madison Avenue, the boutique office building 681 Fifth Avenue and the Empire State Building.
“Think about the foresight it took for some of these guys to say, ‘Now is the time to go in and fix this because when we come out of this we want to be the best positioned as the go-to product,’ ” said Jonathan Serko, a vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield who advised the owners of 1385 Broadway on renovations that began in late 2008. “And obviously, for the ones who stuck with the strategy, it’s all worked out according to plan.”