From Bank Vault to Luxury Living Downtown
Landmark residential building 20 Pine approaches 100 percent sold
As the last several years have seen a resurgence in the residential vitality of the Financial District, one landmark building has mixed its 1920s history with modern luxury to provide a unique residential address. Africa Israel USA (AFI USA), developer of 20 Pine The Collection, has almost completed residential sales at the 38-story condominium conversion.
When the development team broke ground in 2007, FiDi was still largely a daytime destination, an area humming with activity during workday hours, but growing largely desolate as office towers emptied out on nights and weekends.
The neighborhood quickly began attracting a broad swath of residents, not to mention young families, many of whom were drawn to the prospect of living in spacious, architecturally significant buildings with ample amenities.
According to the New York City Department of Planning, the population of Lower Manhattan has exploded in the last 10 years. Between 2000 and 2010, Community District 1, which comprises most of the area south of Canal Street, nearly doubled its population ?from just over 34,000 residents in 2000 to more than 64,000 in 2010.
"This building has been integral to the rebirth of the Financial District," said Tamir Kazaz, chief executive and chief financial officer of AFI USA. "It really set the bar by enabling people who worked downtown to live downtown in a very luxurious way."
As "the face" of the new FiDi, 20 Pine represents the gold standard. Originally built in 1928, the Art-Deco jewel was the former headquarters of the Chase Manhattan Bank. In its modern incarnation, 20 Pine is a seamless blend of old and new, offering an impeccably restored exterior coupled with modern, luxurious interiors and exclusive amenities.
Among the building's many notable firsts, 20 Pine The Collection is the first fashion-branded luxury building in the United States. The development team partnered with celebrated fashion designer Armani/Casa to design the building's sophisticated interiors.
It also houses 30,000 square feet of world-class amenities ? highlights of which include sub-cellar spa and pool pavilion, featuring the former bank vault's original doors, gears and machinations; 25th-floor open-air terrace lounge; state-of-the-art fitness center; Turkish steam bath; library lounge; billiards room and golf simulation room, among others.
"The developer was very smart in finding this building to convert into a residential condominium," said Lori Ordover, managing member of the Ordover Group and consultant to AFI USA. "I don't think anyone's been able to replicate what has been done at 20 Pine. It's just too expensive to put 30,000 square feet of amenities into a building in this neighborhood."
Despite the recession and drop in real estate prices, the development team always believed in the enduring value of the property and the strength of FiDi.
"We had people offering to buy units in bulk," Ordover continued. "But we just laughed because we knew it wouldn't be long before the market came back and sale prices got closer to asking prices."
Since its earliest days, 20 Pine has been home to exciting events. From a rooftop launch-event concert featuring Grammy-Award winner John Legend to numerous book parties, photography exhibits, art shows, panel discussions and design seminars ? 20 Pine The Collection has been a focal point for cultural activities in New York City.
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