New Construction Manhattan blog readers know that we love Financial District condo listings. This is not entirely because Financial District condos are among the most popular on our site, although that obviously helps, but because condominiums in the Financial District are so unique. In a city that is, for all The New Classics we discussed recently, home to a lot of identikit luxury condominium listings, the apartments for sale in the Financial District stand out because of the architectural distinction of their buildings -- many of them elegant art deco office towers making the switch to condominium (or luxury rental, in some cases). As new condo listings go, therefore, it's generally easier for us to get excited about a new condo conversion in the Financial District than it is over, say, a new construction listing in Murray Hill. (With all due respect to the lovely condo listings of Murray Hill, none of those buildings are National Historic Landmarks, unlike the Cipriani Club Residences) So it's always good news when we can report that another elegant Financial District office building is re-imagining itself as a Financial District condominium. The latest project, as Curbed reports: the stately art deco tower at 119 John Street.
The 119 John Street announcement follows a host of other recognizable Financial District office buildings that have opted to make the switch to condominium -- none are in our Financial District condo listings section yet, but the names 1 Wall Street and 70 Pine Street might ring a bell -- with one crucial difference. That is, 119 John is not yet totally empty of office tenants; in fact, it's about half full. This, Curbed's Sara Polsky points out, is actually a blessing for 119 John Street, which can now undergo its conversion to luxury condominiums at a reasonable pace.
"The 35-story, 350,000-square-foot office building, which takes up an entire block, is only half empty, and its remaining tenants will be clearing out in stages over the next few years," Polsky writes. "That means the condo conversion—a joint venture between Metro Loft Management and Hacienda International Realty—will happen gradually over that time, which maybe isn't such a bad thing for a market slowly trying to recover its footing." Even with the NYC real estate market making a charge towards its lofty, pre-recession heights, a little extra time can't help but help 119 John Street make its conversion more smoothly, and result in a better (re)finished product. Given how we feel about FiDi condo listings, we're obviously cool with that.