Back in December, that despicable sentinel of the East River, 375 Pearl Street, was put up for sale. Widely considered the ugliest building in the city, plans for its transformation into a glass office tower seemed in doubt. Now, with The Journal reporting that a buyer for “the Verizon Building” has been found, could we be stuck with the eyesore forever?
A partnership of super-savvy developer Young Woo and a Seattle telecom are prepared to pay roughly $100 million for the building, a relative steal for the 700,000-square-foot concrete tower, especially since Taconic Partners picked up the building for $172.5 million in 2007. Plans for the tower remain unknown, but the potential seems worrying to New York’s effete aesthetes:
Renovations to the building are also viewed as costly, running to hundreds of millions of dollars to convert it to modern residential or office use by installing a new core, including a new electrical system and elevators.
But for a telecom company, the building offers some unique appeal, should Sabey decide to develop the property into one of its data centers. The structure’s sturdy floors, high ceilings and electrical capacity are attractive to a potential tenant that needs space for large equipment.
That would be the smart buy, especially after Google’s record buy across town last year–data is big business these days. But it would also mean we’re stuck with 375 Pearl as is.
Yet Young Woo has shown a penchant for good design before, so maybe this is the skyline’s lucky day after all.