Recent reports that the luxury housing market is slowing down may soon be dismissing Billionaires’ Row, where several sites are in question to add to the strip’s uber-high end array of residential offerings. The latest is at 140 West 57th Street, the Feil Organization’s office tower right across from One57. The Post tells us that leases are not being renewed for tenants in the 14-story, landmarked building, where the developer “is said to have already drawn up floor plans for apartments.”
Also known as the Beaufort, 140 West 57th Street was built to provide live-work space for artists in 1907, a time when this stretch of 57th Street was an artistic hub. It was designed in the Neo-Renaissance style by architects Pollard & Steinam, along with its neighbor 130 West 57th Street. The buildings are notable for their projecting, double-height windows, which were meant to provide ample light for the artists’ duplexes.
Though the building was converted to offices in 1998, it still retained its artsy nature even today, as tenants included interior designer Brian J. McCarthy (whose lease was not renewed after eight years), designer Jhane Barnes, and Hunter Boots (who recently relocated to a nearby office building). Along with these companies, there were also several financial firms, all of whom have been told their leases won’t be renewed.
Feil bought the building from Harry Macklowe in 2009 for $59 million. Currently, the first three floors are occupied by supermarket Morton Williams, who says they have 20 years left on their lease and therefore won’t be affected by a “contemplated” residential conversion. As the Post notes, Feil could very well renovate the property as a hotel or more high-end commercial space, but the aforementioned chattering says differently. Since the building is landmarked, any exterior changes would have to go through the LPC’s lengthy approvals process.
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