The monolithic former Verizon building at 375 Pearl Street is finally getting an upgrade. The 32-story telephone switching building is still outfitted with tiny, three-foot-wide windows, but big pieces of the upper floors have been removed and replaced with glass. Photographer Tectonic recently swung by to document the progress.
While this renovation hasn’t pleased most New Yorkers—who say the 1.1 million-square-foot structure is one of the city’s ugliest—it does make the limestone facade a little easier on the eyes. Most of the new floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall has been installed, and now we can imagine the property’s future as an office building.
Taconic Partners picked up the building for $172 million in 2007, and then Sabey Data Centers and Young Woo and Associates purchased a controlling interest in the property for $120 million four years later.
A handful of city agencies have signed on as tenants in the past year. The NYPD is leasing 18,000 square feet on the 32nd floor, the Post’s Lois Weiss reported last year, and the Department of Financeinked a deal for 175,000 square feet of office space a few months ago. Transit Wireless, the firm responsible for installing wi-fi and cell service in 279 of the city’s subway stations, also has a 15-year lease in the building. 375 Pearl “provides access to an enormous energy and cooling system for Transit Wireless’ computers,” according to the Commercial Observer. Asking rents there hover around $43 a square foot.
The 540-foot-tall tower, which sits at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, was constructed in 1975 and designed by architecture and engineering firm Rose, Beaton, and Rose.