New York Architecture Images- Lower Manhattan



Gordon Bunschaft of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill


140 Broadway, between Liberty and Cedar Streets.




International Style II







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This 52 story, 1.2 million square foot world-class office tower is strategically located in the heart of Lower Manhattan's Financial District, just steps from the New York Stock Exchange. 

Since its acquisition in 1998, Silverstein Properties implemented an extensive restoration and beautification program to bring the building back to first-class status, including a new landscaped plaza, remodeled entrances, a thoroughly renovated lobby and new elevator cabs. 

The Building's classic center core construction featuring virtually column free floors, high ceilings and wraparound windows, provides tenants spectacular unspoiled river-to-river views. A typical floor measures approximately 24,000 rentable square feet. Major tenants include the world headquarters of Brown Brothers Harriman, and other prestigious tenants such as Computer Associates, UBS/Paine Webber, Atlantic Mutual Insurance and ACE USA, Inc.


America's oldest and largest privately-owned bank to occupy 430,000 Sq Ft at Silverstein/Morgan Stanley-owned building

New York, NY -- (July 24, 2001) -- In a vote of confidence for the downtown Manhattan market, Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. will move from its address of 168 years at 59/63 Wall Street to 140 Broadway, where it will occupy 430,000 square feet in the 1.2-million square foot tower owned by Silverstein Properties, Inc. and its partner, Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund III.

Brown Brothers' commitment is significant because when HSBC vacated 140 Broadway earlier this year, there was concern in real estate circles about the negative impact such a large block of empty space could have on downtown. The concern intensified four months ago when potential tenant Goldman Sachs changed its plans and decided not to occupy the building. So the bank's decision to stay in New York and to remain downtown is a coup for the City as well as for the entire lower Manhattan community.

Scott Gamber, a senior managing director with Insignia/ESG, and Douglas Lehman, from the firm's consulting group, negotiated the 20-year lease for Brown Brothers, the nation's oldest and largest privately-owned bank. Catherine Ernst and Roger Silverstein acted for Silverstein Properties and Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund III.

"It's a testament to the strength of the downtown market that Brown Brothers will remain in lower Manhattan," said Mr. Gamber who added that the bank certainly could have moved a large portion of its employees to New Jersey to join their technology and operations colleagues located at Newport Office Tower, in Jersey City, NJ. "But in efforts to retain such an important banking institution as Brown Brothers Harriman in New York, the City's Economic Development Corporation structured an incentive plan that kept these jobs in Manhattan. We're pleased to have accommodated one of the nation's most prestigious financial institutions at 140 Broadway, one of downtown's most prestigious office buildings."

About 850 people will re-locate in Brown Brothers' move to 140 Broadway, built in 1967, from the bank's former home at 59/63 Wall Street, a 35-story 1929 property that was known for years as the Brown Brothers Harriman Building. The bank will occupy floors 1-20 and move-in is scheduled for next summer.

"Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. has been located in the financial district since the firm opened an office in New York in 1825, and we are very pleased to have made this decision to remain in downtown New York City," said Radford W. Klotz, the partner at Brown Brothers who oversaw the negotiations. "The incentive package received from the New York City Economic Development Corporation was an important factor in our headquarters decision."

He went on to say, "This architecturally significant building, designed by Gordon Bunschaft of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill, will make an elegant and appropriate home for our firm, and we couldn't be happier with our new relationship with Silverstein Properties and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund III, owners of the building."

"It's yet another commitment of a prestigious investment banking firm with a long history in New York," said Larry Silverstein, President of Silverstein Properties. "They had many significant opportunities to go to other areas, and they decided to stay in the our city."

Mr. Gamber conducted a thorough search of location alternatives for the bank whose 35-year lease at 59/63 Wall Street was due to expire in 2003. In addition to wanting a signature building, high on Brown Brothers' wish list was that the space be conducive to open-plan seating. Although 850 people are moving to 140 Broadway, only about ten will occupy private offices because Brown Brothers' philosophy is that partners should physically work among other colleagues. Architects Swanke Hayden Connell have been retained for the interior design of the new office space at 140 Broadway.

The country's oldest and largest partnership owned bank, Brown Brothers Harriman currently operates in nine domestic and seven overseas locations with about 3,000 employees. In addition to a full range of Commercial Banking facilities, the firm is among the leading providers of the following financial services: Investment Management for Individuals and Institutions, Personal Trust & Estate Administration, Private Equity, Global Custody, Foreign Exchange, Merger and Acquisition Advice, and Securities Brokerage. For more information on BBH, please visit

Insignia/ESG is one of the largest commercial real estate services providers in the United States, with comprehensive brokerage, consulting, property management, fee development, investment sales and debt placement operations. The company operates in top U.S. markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Miami, San Francisco, Dallas, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. Nationally, Insignia/ESG provides services for a property portfolio spanning approximately 230 million sq. ft. Insignia/ESG also delivers advanced commercial real estate services through Insignia Richard Ellis in the United Kingdom, and through other Insignia subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Insignia/ESG is a subsidiary of Insignia Financial Group, Inc., a publicly traded real estate company listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol IFS.


Commercial Real Estate

Text by Mervyn Rothstein

Photograph by Dith Pran

Ten months ago, when Silverstein Properties and the Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund bought the 51-story, 1.2 million-square-foot office building at 140 Broadway from the Helmsley organization for $191 million - or almost $160 a square foot - the building was only 59 percent occupied and needed a $60 million renovation.  But it was also one of the few trophy properties available downtown, and one of the few with large blocks of contiguous vacant space.

Now, the extensive renovation of the 1967 building is under way and new leases for more than 150,000, square feet of space have been signed - some of them, on the higher floors, for average annual rents in the mid to high $40's a square foot, which brokers say are among the highest seen downtown in recent months.  And, buoyed by an upturn in the lower Manhattan market and the scarcity of top-of-the-line Class A space downtown, the landlord says he is confident of filling the building.  "We bought the building with the full intention of bringing it back to first-class status," said Roger A. Silverstein, vice president of Silverstein Properties.  "It had suffered in the marketplace because it had large amounts of asbestos, and the lobby and the plaza areas had a tired feeling. The plaza stone was in disrepair, and the waterproofing membrane had decayed. 

"So we're removing the asbestos, we've put new stone on the plaza, we're refurbishing the lobby with new revolving doors and we're putting in new mahogany-paneled elevator cabs," he said.  "And so long as the downtown market remains robust, we have every reason to believe we'll lease up the building quickly."

One new tenant, Platinum Technology International, a business software company based in Illinois, is talking about 48,000 square feet on the 49th and 50th floors after moving from the Empire State Building and 261 Madison Avenue, between 38th and 39th Streets.  The American Capital Access Service Corporation, an insurance group, is leasing 23,976 square feet, the entire 47th floor, and relocating from 1 Liberty Plaza.  And the Y.M.C.A. Retirement Fund is moving from 225 Broadway into 46,000 square feet on the 27th and 28th floors.

Catherine T. Giliberti, senior vice president at Silverstein Properties, said the building had two large contiguous blocks -- one 130,000 square feet and the other 95,000, "largely column free and with superb views."  She said the building would continue to try to attract large users, "but for now, the market seems to be one­ and two-floor users."

That downtown market, brokers say, is getting better and better, which is good news for 140 Broadway.  Frank A. Cento, a senior director in the downtown office of the Cushman & Wakefield brokerage company, said that because of downtown's renewed health, Mr. Silverstein's "timing is excellent."  "Things look good for the building, especially as it stands now," Mr. Cento said. "Activity last year for downtown was at a record pace, with over 10 million square feet leased. The overall vacancy rate for lower Manhattan is 9.5 percent, and for Class A space, it's 4.2 percent.  So for downtown tenants who want to upgrade or for midtown tenants who want to move downtown, there are very few choices. And 140 Broadway is positioned very strongly and has a myriad of availability. There's no question it will he one of the more active properties this year."

Bruce E. Surry, executive director in charge of the downtown offices of the Insignia/ESG brokerage and services company, said lower Man­hattan "suffered a hiccup last year because of the Asian crisis and the Long-Term Credit debacle, which slowed down the markets, but we're beginning to see an increase in activity at all levels."  Downtown is back on the radar screen," he said. "Investment sales activity is picking up substantially, lenders are back in the market and there's much more activity from large and small tenants in making commitments and signing leases."  Rents downtown are rising but are still far below those in midtown, Mr. Surry said. "In addition to 140 Broadway, downtown buildings that have closed leases with average annual rents of $40 per square foot or higher include 17 State Street, 33 Whitehall Street, 180 Maiden Lane, 32 Old Slip and 1 Liberty Plaza, and there are other deals pending," he said. "Similar buildings in the midtown market today are getting annual rents in excess of $60 a square foot. So there's a dramatic differential in the value one can achieve downtown versus midtown if you can live with a downtown location."

The one major concern 140 Broadway has, Mr. Surry said, is it’s pending lease renewal with Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, which occupies about 500,000 square feet and whose lease expires in 2002. "That's 40 to 45 percent of the building," he said "and it's a very important piece of the puzzle that needs to be resolved.”

Ms. Giliberti said discussions with the bank had begun and were in the early stages. "The tenant is very important to the building, and we have every hope of renewing their lease," she said. "But if that doesn't happen and the market continues be strong, we would have a large, contiguous block of space in a first-class building."

The New York Times, METRO, Wednesday, February 3, 1999