For years, Downtown New York was bipolar. Vertiginous, stressful, vivacious, stimulating during the day. Empty and silent at night. You could say that the capital of global capitalism is still on Wall Street, but times are changing. Since September 11, 2001, the Financial District has been significantly transformed, mainly due to the relocation of major financial institutions to Uptown Manhattan and other cities. Since then, the residential population on this small piece of land with the world’s most imposing skyscrapers tripled to more than 60,000. A new generation is attracted to the imposing style of these monumental buildings that breathe history and attract 14 million tourists annually. It is also the area chosen by companies such as Condé Nast, Spotify, GroupM and Time Inc., for which the creativity and inspiration of its employees is vital.
One of the most ambitious projects that is reshaping the physiognomy of Downtown is One Wall Street. This 1931 building is a historic 55-storey limestone Art Deco tower that occupies a distinctive position on the New York skyline, commanding a full block on the corner of Broadway and Wall Street and east of the New York Stock Exchange. It was originally built for the Irving Trust Company by architect Ralph Walker, a key figure in the American Art Deco and responsible for some of the city’s most iconic buildings. Expanded in 1963, the property is approximately 100,000 square meters in surface and presides over the corner of Wall Street and Broadway, metres from the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve.
One Wall Street housed offices until 2014, when it was purchased by Macklowe Properties. Today it represents the largest conversion from offices to residential departments in New York City history, offering 566 four-room condominiums with 9,000 m2 for amenities and 16,000 m2 of commercial spaces. For a good part, it will be occupied by Whole Foods, Jeff Bezos’ supermarket chain.
The neighborhood is now like an ancient city with touches of ultramodernity. In addition to memorable architecture, world-class educational institutions, 33 hectares of the city’s best parks and green spaces, proximity to the river, shops and restaurants, Downtown now boasts The Oculus, station where subway and train gather, located in the World Trade Center – one of the new constructions in Ground Zero. A glass and steel structure designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava to resemble a Dove in flight, whose design displays light on the platform and the shopping center. But, more than a station or a shopping mall, the Oculus is already a tourist destination itself.
“With One Wall Street, Macklowe will inject a new life into this iconic architectural structure, housing a new demographic of professionals moving to the center. This will be one of New York’s most coveted residences, because it’s also going to accelerate the renaissance of the area,” says Harry Macklowe, founder and Chairman of Macklowe Properties. Indeed, the prices of the luxurious One Wall Street units start at $960,000.
Downtown is undergoing transformation, and other iconic buildings such as the Woolworth (the world’s tallest between 1913 and 1930) or former New York Life Insurance Company now offer the city’s most luxurious apartments. “Money never sleeps”, Gordon Gekko said at Wall Street. The district has had the time. And now everyone wants to sleep on Wall Street.