Downtown office tower at 80 Pine Street to undergo changes

Just as the downtown office market is starting to look challenging, change is coming to 80 Pine St., the full-block, 1.2 million square-foot office tower developed by the Rudin family that opened in 1960.

Faced with upcoming lease expirations that will leave 800,000 square feet vacant, including by AIG late next year, the Rudins have tapped Fogarty Finger Architecture to design a new ground floor lobby and entryways. The reconfigured lobby can provide a “building within a building” option for a large new tenant.

The project also includes new storefronts with decorative glass curtain walls. The lobby’s original travertine will be replaced with elements meant to reflect the Midcentury-style’s warmer elements — white terrazzo flooring, white oak-paneled wall cladding and contemporary plaster-finish ceilings.

Rudin has tapped a JLL team that includes Frank Doyle, Alexander Chudnoff and Peter Riguardi to lead the leasing and marketing campaign. Asking rents are in the mid-high $50s per square foot.

Rudin Management senior VP Samantha Rudin said the “fourth generation of the family business is excited to revitalize and reinvest in this important downtown office tower.”

Rudin Management CEO Bill Rudin with his father Lew break ground on 80 Pine St. in 1959.
Rudin Management CEO Bill Rudin with his father Lew break ground on 80 Pine St. in 1959.

Wall Street leasing blues

The 80 Pine project comes amid a sagging downtown office market. CBRE research director Nicole LaRusso said her firm’s third-quarter results show that Wall Street-area leasing was down a whopping 64 percent over the five-year quarterly average.

“Like the rest of the city, it isn’t a pretty picture,” La Russo said.

She added that the “active requirements” for space downtown fell from 4.5 million square feet at the end of 2019 to about 2.8 million today. Total third-quarter leasing of 455,000 square feet was down 12 percent since the second quarter.

In such an environment, “Landlords have to put their best foot forward,” LaRusso said.

Rehearsal space finds new tenant

When the pandemic forced 30-year-old rehearsal facility Shetler Studios to close, the suddenly-available space at Zar Properties’ 244-250 W. 54th St. proved a perfect fit for another performing-arts institution — the American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA).

The expanding school signed a lease for the 33,915 square feet left behind by Shetler. The space was already set up for studio and music use, so few changes had to be made.

Jeffrey Rosenblatt, executive vice president of brokerage Square Foot, repped both the tenant and landlord. He had been working with AMDA to find more space than it already has at several nearby locations due to social-distancing rules.

Rosenblatt had to guide the deal through several “pauses” in the process that resulted from government lockdowns. The asking rent was $59 per square foot.

Italian restaurant opening up two new spots

Legendary restaurant pioneer Pino Luongo, who helped turn on New Yorkers to northern Italian cuisine in the 1970s and ’80s, is still in the game — and growing.

Shrugging off COVID-19 fears, Luongo has signed leases for two new spaces downtown.

The larger is at 307 Spring St., the former home of celeb-magnet Giorgione, which closed in January. It has 2,500 square feet on the ground floor and 2,500 more on the lower level.

The asking rent was $300,000 a year, said prolific dealmaker James Famularo, who brokered the lease.

At 184 Prince St., Luongo took 1,000 square feet on the ground and lower levels. The “ask” was $180,000 a year, Famularo said.

It’s expected that both venues will be based on Luongo’s popular, rustic Tuscan-inspired Coco Pazzo concept, which currently has a home on Prince Street. Luongo also currently runs the successful Morso on East 59th Street.

What’s ‘Olde’ is good

Good news on the retail front is scarce these days. Here’s one cheering note: Architectural salvage merchant Olde Good Things opened a new, two-level 8,000 square-foot store at 333 W. 52nd St. over the weekend.

It’s the company’s third location in Manhattan and its new flagship.

They describe it as “a gigantic photo-op chockablock with architectural treasures for both locals, out-of-towners, architects and designers.”



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