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Carter's View

The conversion plans for the 42-story office tower at 15 Broad Street and adjacent 5-story office building at 23 Wall Street have been revised.

The project, a venture of Leviev Boymelgreen, originally called for the creation of about 500 condominium apartments, according to a May 14, 2003 article by Charles V. Bagli in The New York Times. At some point, however, the plan was revised downward to include only 326 condominium apartments.

Recently, however, the developer has decided to "add" 56 more condominium apartments because of its marketing success. The "new" apartments were "found" on the 7th through the 10th floors of the building at 15 Broad Street in space that had been contemplated for use as office space.

Sales began in August, 2004 and in about a month contracts had supposedly been signed on more than half of the 326 units then in the project. According to, as of March, 2005, 85 percent of the apartments were sold ranging in price from about $355,000 for a studio to $4.6 million for a two-bedroom apartment with a terrace.

A spokesperson for the developer told CityRealty.Com today that occupancy is now planned for mid 2006 and that 86 percent of the project's 382 units have now been sold.

The project, which is known as "Downtown by Philippe Starck," is directly across Broad Street from The New York Stock Exchange and directly across Wall Street from Federal Hall National Memorial. Starck is a French designer who is known for his preference for spiky furniture as can be seen in his public interiors at the Royalton Hotel on West 44th Street.

Press releases for the project indicated that his plans would "transform the epicenter of American finance?into a vertical paradise," adding that "on the roof of 23 Wall Street..., the apartment complex will feature a lush 5,000-square-foot park with a reflecting pool, lounge, and dining area." "A lower level in that building will house a private bowling alley and 24-sear screening room," it continued, adding that the project will also have a fitness cener with a lap pool, a half-court basketball court, a children's playroom and a business center.

23 Wall Street was erected in 1914 and was linked to 15 Broad Street in 1957. Subsequently, the buildings were remodeled as the headquarters of the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company, a corporate forerunner of J. P. Morgan Chase & Company. A. I. Boymelgreen brought the buildings in 2003 for about $100 million.

A one-bedroom apartment on the 25th floor with two baths and a total of 1,476 square feet was recently listed with a price of $1,450,000, and a three-bedroom, 3 ? bath unit with 2,478 square feet on the 29th floor was listed at $3,320,000.

"For decades 23 Wall Street was the most important address in American finance - the home of the House of Morgan," Christopher Grimes wrote in the May 30, 2004 edition of the Financial Times. "It was known popularly as The Corner," he continued, noting that it was then being converted along with 15 Broad Street, the former headquarters of Equitable Trust, into apartments.

The interior of 23 Wall Street at one point was planned to be used by New York Law School, but that plan was not finalized and the interiors of the landmarked building are now used as a sales office for the project, whose bowling alley is being created out of a former shooting range and the lap pool is being created out of the bank vaults.

Most of the block except 23 Wall Street was supposed to be demolished under a plan for a new facility for the New York Stock Exchange but that plan was abandoned after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Ismael Leyva is the project architect working with Mr. Starck, who has also worked on the interiors of the Paramount and Hudson hotels here.
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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.
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