Live Like an Insurance Baron: AIG Building 70 Pine Becoming City’s Tallest Residences

Who wouldn't want to live here? (

The lovely Art Deco skyscraper at 70 Pine Street has had as rough a few years as its former owner. The Financial District tower was acquired by AIG in 1976, then losses in the economic crisis led AIG to its infmaous $183 billion dollar bailout. To recoup some of that money, the company had to sell properties and assets to pay off the debt. Asian investors stormed the building and bought that and 72 Wall Street, another AIG building, for $150 million.

There was plans to convert 70 Pine into condominiums, but the partners behind the project had a rough few years themselves and ended up in the court duking it out. Another firm, Sciame Development, was brought in to determine whether it should be developed as hotel or a condominium, but paths shifted and Metro Loft Management and the Eastbridge Group bought the building last December for $205 million dollars.

Now, they are finally going ahead with luxury rental plans that will make this the highest residences in the city, according to The Times.

Metro Loft Management has owned and flipped eight office-to-apartment buildings and plans for the new building are up in the air. 70 Pine will either be converted to a hotel and apartment combo or exclusively an apartment building:

Under one plan, a 300-room hotel would be on the lower floors, and above would be 700 apartments, whose residents could avail themselves of the hotel’s services and staff, said Nathan Berman, a Metro Loft principal. Under a different plan, the skyscraper would be exclusively a residence, with about 970 apartments, he said.

Either way, the smallest apartments would be 400-square-foot studios, the largest 1,800-square-foot four-bedrooms, in a nod to families moving to the Wall Street area.

The building, once converted, will be the tallest residential building in New York and the Western hemisphere. The current tallest—New York by Gehry at 8 Spruce Street—is only 876 feet tall. Despite having less floors, the 66 stories at 70 Pine have 12 foot ceilings, rocketing the building to 970 feet of Art Deco goodness.

Though their crown will be shortly worn: One57 will check in as the highest at 1,004 feet in the fall of 2013.

  Live Like an Insurance Baron: AIG Building 70 Pine Becoming City’s Tallest Residences