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Carter's View

An owner of the one of the signature buildings of the Lower Manhattan skyline has decided, according to a published report, not to convert part of it to residential condominiums.

An article by Steve Cuozzo in The New York Post yesterday quoted Shaya Boymelgreen of Leviev Boymelgreen Developers as stating that "that's not part of the plan now" for the former Bankers Trust Building at 14 Wall Street.

Leviev Boymelgreen, a partnership between Shaya Boymelgreen and Africa Israel Investments Ltd., is in the process of converting two nearby buildings, 23 Wall Street, which known now as "Downtown by Starck," and 20 Pine Street, to residential condominiums.

Calls by to Leviev Boymelgreen were not returned today.

Leviev Boymelgreen acquired the 37-story building at 14 Wall Street, which has a stepped-pyramid roof, last year from Stellar Management for a reported sales price of about $215 million. Larry Gluck of Stellar Management had acquired the 1,000,000-square-foot building from his Goldman Sachs partners for less than $200 million.

Bankers Trust sold the building to GE Investments and the bank was acquired in 1999 by Deutsche Bank whose lease for 250,000 square feet expired last year leaving the building about 75 percent occupied.

The initial plan of Leviev Boymelgreen for 14 Wall Street was understood in the trade for converting the top of the building to residential condominiums, retaining some office space and converting the rest of the building to commercial condominiums for non-profit groups.

The 540-foot-high building is an official New York City landmark. It was designed in 1912 by Trowbridge & Livingston and its roof is one of the most distinctive in the city and subsequently became the bank's logo.

In their fine book, "The A.I.A. Guide to New York City, Fourth Edition" (Three Rivers Press, 2000), Norval White and Elliot Willensky noted that "When built, it was called the world's tallest structure?on the smallest plot (94 by 97 feet)." A 25-story addition to the building was designed in 1933 by Shreve, Lamb & Harmon.

The elegant building is across Broad Street from Federal Hall National Memorial Hall and one block to the east of Trinity Church on Broadway.

The building is diagonally across the street from 23 Wall Street, the former headquarters of J. P. Morgan & Company, which was also designed in 1913 by Trowbridge & Livingston.

In recent years, The 14 Wall Street Restaurant occupied part of J. P. Morgan's penthouse apartment, but it closed recently and The New York Post article indicated that Leviev Boymelgreen may reopen that space on the 31st floor it as "a very special restaurant."
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.