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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

Plans were filed last week by Swig Equities LLC to convert 25 Broad Street to residential condominiums.

Kent Swig, the head of Swig Equities, told CityRealty.Com today that the plan has a total offering price of about $432 million. The very handsome building now has 346 rental apartments and had been converted from an office building in 1997 by Crescent Heights.

The 21-story building, one of the most impressive in Lower Manhattan, was erected in 1902 and was then the world's largest building. It is located on the southeast corner of Broad Street at Exchange Place and is one block south of the New York Stock Exchange.

It was designed in 1899 by Robert Maynicke and his plans were revised the next year by Clinton & Russell in a Beaux-Arts style. Clinton & Russell would later design the major Art Deco-style skyscraper at 70 Pine Street.

The building is distinguished by its very handsome facade and entrance and its stunning and huge lobby. It has a three-story rusticated base with a five-step-up entrance.

In their wonderful book, "The A.I.A. Guide to New York City, Fourth Edition" (Three Rivers Press, 2000), Elliot Willensky and Norval White observed that the building is "worthy of the best on Park Avenue." In fact, the building predates most of the buildings on Park Avenue and its huge marble lobby with coffered ceiling is worthy of the world's most luxurious hotels.

Mr. Swig acquired the building from Crescent Heights earlier this year for about $200 million. Crescent Heights had converted the building in 1997 to rental apartments after it had remained vacant for several years following the stock market crash in 1987. That renovation replaced all major building systems including a new roof and new elevators.

Mr. Swig said that his company plans to renovate and upgrade the building, which was designated a city landmark in 2000, and add amenities. The building has high ceilings, a fitness center, a roofdeck, a concierge, and there are laundry and private storage rooms on each residential floor.

According to the Skyscraper Museum, the building remained the world's largest building from 1902 to 1907 when it was surpassed in size by the City Investing Building.

When it was completed, the "Broad Exchange Building," as it was known, was "the largest and most valuable office building in all of Manhattan" and, according to the Swig Equities's website, "was instantly recognized as one of the most desirable addresses for Wall Street's brokers and bankers, providing headquarter facilities for Paine, Webber and Company for nearly seventy years."

In its description of the building, the website notes that "The timeless design includes a base of rusticated granite segueing to a classic design of buff colored brick with terracotta trim," adding that "The austere grandeur of the building continues to resonate today, its clean lines and understated ornamentation evoking the unwavering strength of Wall Street as the world's financial capital."

In recent years, Swig Equities has acquired a substantial and important portfolio of Lower Manhattan properties that include 44 and 48 Wall Street, 5 Hanover Square, 80 Broad Street and 110 William Street in addition to 25 Broad Street.
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Additional Info About the Building

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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