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  #41  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2009, 12:03 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/06092009...too_173315.htm

AIG'S HQ NEEDS A RESCUE, TOO


UNPROTECTED: Iconic 70 Pine Street has been a presence in lower Manhattan since 1932.




June 9, 2009

WHOEVER'S negotiating to buy AIG's magnificent 70 Pine St. headquarters tower along with 72 Wall St. from the bailed-out insurer should know that people are watching: namely, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Surprisingly, the iconic 70 Pine St., steeped in Art Deco detail and a commanding skyline presence since 1932, is not a designated city landmark; thus, it enjoys no protection from demolition or ruinous changes.

But with the prospect that the majestic but antiquated skyscraper likely faces conversion to residential and other uses, architects and preservationists are keeping a close eye on the situation.

David Childs, designer of the new 1 World Trade Center and the new chairman of the Municipal Art Society, called 70 Pine "one of the prides of the city. It needs whatever protection it can have.

"The powers that be should do something now to see that it's recharged, reactivated, but saved for all the important architectural aspects."

Yesterday, Peg Breen, president of the private, preservation-minded Landmarks Conservancy, wrote to city Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert Tierney asking to consider 70 Pine St. for designation.

The tower, designed by architectural firms Clinton & Russell and Holton & George, is "one of the iconic buildings of New York," Breen told The Post. "I'd hope a new owner would understand that that's the value of it to them."

In fact, commission spokeswoman Elisabeth de Bourbon said Tierney and his staff "have been looking at it for some time. It is meritorious, but it's a matter of taking the next step, which would be to have a conversation with the new owners."

Along with Donald Trump's 40 Wall St. (which is landmarked), the 66-story AIG tower -- at 952 feet in height, downtown's tallest -- defines Lower Manhattan's "wedding-cake" profile that's still perceptible amid the area's profusion of flat-topped, boxy structures.

Originally built for Cities Service, it's a masterpiece of detail, especially at its base and crown. It also is home to some of Manhattan's most glorious interior spaces -- including a private, top-floor observatory that architectural historian and former Post real estate editor Carter B. Horsley has called "the greatest room in the world."


I was privileged to visit the terraced aerie with Horsley 20 years ago, and can attest to its singular capacity to awe. It's illustrated in Daniel M. Abramson's magnificent book on the tower's history and contribution to downtown's development, "Skyscraper Rivals: The AIG Building and the Architecture of Wall Street," published in 2001.

Those who love 70 Pine St. fear that although demolition is highly unlikely, a new owner could ruinously alter its appearance.

My colleague Lois Weiss has reported that the unidentified buyers, possibly Russian or Asian, might turn 70 Pine and 72 Wall -- a 16-story building linked to it by a skybridge -- into a mixed-use development including residential and retail.

We have no more idea than anyone else who's talking to AIG. So far, only one name has reached us as a possible participant, and strictly as a rumor: Young Woo, founder of New York-based Youngwoo & Associates, which has developed numerous projects.

Woo did not respond to a message left on his voicemail.

Although some classic old downtown office buildings were successfully converted to apartments without ruining their facades, some brokers said that 70 Pine can't be adapted with out significantly altering it, especially on the lower floors.

"The base is much too wide and deep for apartments," one insider said. "You could use it for retail, but only by replacing the masonry and brick skin with glass."

Childs said, "I'm all in favor of it being reused, to keep it vibrant and not dead. But at the same time, what makes 70 Pine so great is its great profile and detail."

The Landmarks Commission's de Bourbon said, "Our next move would be to let a new owner know of our interest. We have authority to designate a building without an owner's consent. But we believe preservation works best when there's a dialogue and productive relationship with an owner."
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  #42  
Old Posted Jun 9, 2009, 3:54 PM
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I'm not worried, they would never let any extreme changes happen.
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  #43  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2009, 12:33 AM
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I'm not worried, they would never let any extreme changes happen.
At this point, there isn't really anything anyone could do to stop it, though I don't think anything extreme is planned. The latest rumors are for residential conversion.
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  #44  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2009, 11:19 AM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/06102009...40m_173434.htm

AIG BLDG. FETCHES UNDER $140M



June 10, 2009

LOCAL owner/developer Youngwoo & Associates has teamed up with South Korea's Kumho Investment Bank to win the bidding for AIG's downtown headquarters complex that consists of the Art Deco 70 Pine St. and the more modern 72 Wall St.

Sources said the pricing for the buildings, which have a combined 1.4 million square feet of space, will be just under $100 a foot, bringing the total to less than $140 million.

Developer Young Woo's name surfaced as the possible buyer last Thursday, but he was revealed in print by colleague Steve Cuozzo in The Post yesterday, after which brokerage firm CB Richard Ellis revealed the entire partnership.

Darcy Stacom and Bill Shanahan of CBRE represented AIG in the marketing of the complex, which is connected by a skyway.

"We are pleased to announce this important transaction and view it as a key stepping-stone in our long-range plan to establish a major presence for Korean institutions in the US property and capital markets," added Greg Carney, a partner at YWA, in a statement.

Added Y.C. Kim, a director at Kumho, in a statement: "The investment is based on our optimistic view on the future of Wall Street, New York City and the US financial services industry."

Woo, an architect and graduate of Pratt Institute, has been involved in the development of properties including 85 Tenth Ave., the Chelsea Arts Tower on West 25th Street and 200 Eleventh Ave., where Annabelle Selldorf designed "en suite" elevators to bring one's car directly into one's condo.

He also is a partner in the telecom data center at 325 Hudson St.

Richard Warshauer of FirstService Williams, a team member who represents 325 Hudson St. said of Woo, "He's very creative with an enormous imagination."

Sources said Woo has a mixed-use proposal for the AIG complex.

Woo and Kumho are also partners in a bid to redevelop Pier 57, where they are proposing uses that include a marketplace, a contemporary arts center run by auction company Phillips de Pury & Co. and a home for the Tribeca Enterprises/Tribeca Film Festival.

However, the team is up against competing plans from firms that include the Related Cos. and the Durst Organization.

Bruce Mosler of Cushman & Wakefield said during a luncheon speech yesterday before the Young Mens'/Womens' Real Estate Association that the AIG deal substantiates his contention that current city pricing makes it attractive to overseas investors.

But another area owner, speaking on condition of anonymity, predicted of Woo, "He's going to have a hard time filling it."
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  #45  
Old Posted Jun 10, 2009, 1:43 PM
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The fact that Youngwoo won the bid puts me at ease about the status of the AIG building. They're responsible for one of the best looking new towers in the past few years: 200 eleventh avenue. The detailing and materials are just ridiculous and it's modern while still in character with NYC:



Pretty sure AIG is in good hands.
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  #46  
Old Posted Jun 13, 2009, 12:29 PM
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I like the way the older icons are being made to shine again. Like the Woolworth, then the ESB, and now this one.
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  #47  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2009, 2:56 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/06162009...dg__174487.htm


June 16, 2009


Once, somebody at AIG was proud of its 70 Pine St. headquarters -- so proud that the insurer holds the copyright on Daniel Abramson's 2001 book, "Skyscraper Rivals: AIG and the Architecture of Wall Street."

But the now-embattled insurer's love for the 66-story, Art Deco tower -- now in contract to be sold to a partnership led by Manhattan-based Youngwoo & Associates -- might have had its limits.

At least once in the past, the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission considered designating the classic structure, a skyline icon since 1930, as a protected city landmark. But it never took action, partly because of resistance by AIG itself, according to one of the city's leading preservationists.

As we reported last week, Peg Breen, president of the private New York Landmarks Conservancy, wrote to Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert Tierney, urging the LPC to take up the case of 70 Pine St. (Without the city's landmark imprimatur, a new owner could alter the tower's appearance or even demolish it.)

Now we've seen a copy of the letter. Breen called 70 Pine St. "by far, the most significant Art Deco skyscraper in the city that has not yet been afforded landmark protection."

She wrote, "although the commission's past efforts to designate the building were rebuffed by AIG, now that they are selling . . . the time is right to move forward with individual landmark designation."

Breen declined to comment on the letter.

LPC spokeswoman Elizabeth de Bourbon, who last week told us Tierney and his team have been "looking at [70 Pine St.] for some time," yesterday said there was "nothing in the [LPC's] file to substantiate" that AIG had opposed landmarking 70 Pine St., and, "no one here knows anything about it."

But Tierney became chairman only in 2003, and de Bourbon acknowledged that an exchange with AIG could have taken place prior to that.


She said Tierney had not yet responded to Breen as her letter was received only a few days ago.

An AIG spokesman declined to comment on whether the company would endorse or oppose landmarking 70 Pine St.

Youngwoo did not respond to the same question.
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  #48  
Old Posted Jun 22, 2009, 11:47 PM
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http://www.observer.com/2009/real-es...l-estate-mogul

Young Woo, the Modest Real Estate Mogul Who Wants You To Rule the World

By Bonnie Kavoussi
June 22, 2009

Quote:
“Everybody said I was crazy,” said Young Woo, 56, the developer in contract to buy AIG’s two Lower Manhattan skyscrapers. “But I said no, New York has a lot of originality, and we have to create.”...

Mr. Woo has just taken his largest leap of faith yet. Earlier this month, he entered into a contract to purchase AIG’s two downtown towers, 70 Pine Street and 72 Wall Street, for approximately $140 million—a mere $100 per square foot. If closed, it will nevertheless be downtown’s biggest real estate deal of 2009 and a true price benchmark in a year sorely craving one.

Youngwoo & Associates has significantly remodeled almost all the buildings it has ever handled, according to Mr. Woo and Greg Carney, the firm's third principal. The AIG towers—early 20th-century testaments to Art Deco—promise to be no exception.

“We want to make some very interesting project out of it,” Mr. Woo said
during an hour-long interview at his offices on June 12. “How do you make this project successful and make it part of some continuation of what we do?”

Excellent question. Mr. Woo did not want to go into any details, referring The Observer to Mr. Carney for more questions. Mr. Carney declined to comment on any specifics about their plans or funding (it remains unclear how much the Korean-based bank, Kumho Investment, which partnered on the contract, will chip in).

Real estate experts said that remodeling the towers—whether for retail, residential, hotel or redesigned commercial space—is risky...

When it comes to the AIG towers’ future, Mr. Carney—Mr. Woo’s de facto spokesman—hinted at a vision that looks ahead to Lower Manhattan's future: not just as a business district, but also as a “24-hour, mixed-use environment.”

“We see that area being transformed into a much more different environment, and so we want to be a part of that,” Mr. Carney said.

Though Mr. Steinberg said he believes a mixed-use building would be wisest, Mr. Woo “has the capacity to surprise us all—me too.” The AIG tower deal is expected to close around August, and Mr. Woo is likely envisioning what people downtown will want in 2011, after the recession has passed.
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  #49  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2009, 12:13 AM
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I don't like the sound of this. I guess nothing is safe anymore.
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  #50  
Old Posted Jun 23, 2009, 5:08 AM
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I doubt they would ever drastically change its appearance, I'm just very surprised that its not a landmark!?
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  #51  
Old Posted Jun 24, 2009, 4:30 PM
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I doubt they even could change the appearance that much. As I understand it, many of those walls are load bearing. I think they will probably just make the interiors very modern and add gimmicks (like the "transporter" from the article).
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  #52  
Old Posted Aug 29, 2009, 3:39 PM
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Always been one of my favorites in NYC.
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  #53  
Old Posted Oct 7, 2009, 11:11 PM
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http://therealdeal.com/newyork/artic...at-150-million

Youngwoo aims for $2,000 per foot at 70 Pine



October 07, 2009
By Adam Pincus


70 Pine Street, Young Woo, head of Youngwoo & AssociatesThe developer of 70 Pine Street in the Financial District predicts it will be able to sell residential condominium units in the tower of the American International Group building for $2,000 per square foot following a rehabilitation of the 63-story structure.

Developer Youngwoo & Associates bought the Art Deco office tower and neighboring 72 Wall Street for $150 million, or about $105 per square foot in August, with financial partner South Korea's Kumho Investment Bank.

Young Woo, principal of Youngwoo & Associates, said the key to getting $2,000 per square foot was to market the building as a premium product, comparing it to a Louis Vuitton bag or an iPod.

"If we can create that perfect trend lifestyle for this building, for our targeted audience, we are not afraid to achieve $2,000 a square foot," Woo said. He added that units in the West Village condominium building at the Sky Garage at 200 11th Avenue at 24th Street his firm developed, a building that includes an elevator for cars, sold for more than $4,000 per square foot.

Woo and firm principal Gregory Carney spoke last night at the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate Silverstein Workshop in Midtown, co-moderated by the institute's divisional dean James Stuckey and Robert Shapiro, president of City Center Real Estate.

The company has been reluctant to release details about the mixed-use redevelopment project, saying the plans remain under development.

As part of a sale-leaseback deal, AIG will vacate the smaller building, 72 Wall Street, at Pearl Street, this year, and neighboring 70 Pine Street, by Dec. 31, 2010, Carney said.

The firm is considering residential for the tower at 70 Pine Street, with about 400,000 to 500,000 square feet above the 19th floor, Woo said, and commercial uses on the lower floors and in the smaller building. Woo estimated capital costs of about $50 per square foot and $70 per square foot in tenant improvement costs for the commercial portion of 70 Pine Street as well as the entire 72 Wall Street, but did not provide estimated costs for the residential construction.

"I think whatever we do on the office side -- that will break even. The whole idea is what to do with the tower," Woo said.

Carney added: "We think we can get the highest price Downtown."

To build a higher profile for the AIG building, the developer is considering options such as lasers or lights on the tower. Also, several firms have offered to pay for naming rights, Woo said.
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  #54  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 6:29 PM
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Sounds like this and Silverstein's 30 Park Place are going to be competing with each other.

Also, isn't it odd to sell naming rights for a residential building?
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  #55  
Old Posted Oct 8, 2009, 10:55 PM
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[To build a higher profile for the AIG building, the developer is considering options such as lasers on the tower.[/color][/b][/u]
They better not ruin this building with cheap crap.....
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  #56  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2009, 6:42 PM
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They better not ruin this building with cheap crap.....
LOL...well there'll be a lot to compete with down there on the skyline. Maybe it can play laser tag with the Freedom Tower...
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  #57  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2009, 3:48 PM
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October 8, 2009, 1:12 PM ET

AIG Headquarters: From Cubicles to Condos

Battered insurer American International Group Inc.’s former New York headquarters might be going condo, replacing cubicles and copy machines with granite countertops and imported tile.

Developer Young Woo, who snapped up 70 Pine St. in Manhattan’s Financial district earlier this year, is considering turning the 66-story tower into a hybrid with commercial space on the lower levels and the higher floors becoming condominiums. The residential units, he says, could command $2,000 per square foot, according to The Real Deal.

The key to getting that sky-high price is to market the Depression-era Art-Deco building as a premium product, says Mr. Woo, principal of Youngwoo & Associates.

Of course, numerous developers across Manhattan have tried that exact strategy, only to see prices and demand crumble along with the economy. Higher jumbo mortgage rates and job losses on Wall Street have hit the luxury market particularly hard: The average price per square foot for luxury condos in Manhattan tumbled 21% from a year ago to $1,840, according to the Corcoran Group and PropertyShark.com’s third-quarter report.

Still, it will take some time for Mr. Woo’s potential condo conversion. Permits and inevitable construction delays aside, AIG can stick around Pine Street until Dec. 31, 2010, the Real Deal reported. The Big Apple’s market could show glimmers of life by then.

In a research note, Fox-Pitt Kelton analyst Rob Stevenson writes that the $2,000-per-square foot could apply only to the top floors, which would offer sweeping views of lower Manhattan. Even so, the project could be lucrative, he says.

“Any selling price north of $1,000 per square foot would drive more than $500 per square foot of pure profits (after selling costs) according to our educated ‘guestimates,’” he says.

That’d represent a handsome return on the roughly $105 per square foot, or $150 million, Youngwoo and financial partner South Korea’s Kumho Investment Bank reportedly paid for 70 Pine and nearby 72 Wall St. AIG, which the government bailed out to prevent its collapse, has been unloading property worldwide. During better times – ones where the recession doesn’t spark a fire sale – the Pine Street address could have fetched much more.

http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/20...les-to-condos/
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  #58  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2009, 4:53 PM
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Anyone have a clue where AIG will be moving to? I know they purchased some space in the Continental Center a couple years ago, and they have another building on Water Street, but this will certainly be a big move.

Hopefully they stay in Manhattan.
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  #59  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2009, 6:57 PM
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LOL...well there'll be a lot to compete with down there on the skyline.
And that is of course great and all, but this is a little worry sum to me. I really would hate for such a gem to be transformed by an era; kind of like what the 60’s did to the ESB….
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  #60  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2009, 9:36 PM
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I can't believe I just came across this thread. This building has always been one of my all time favorites and my NYC favorite.

Love the old pics of Lower Manhatten!
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