Silverstein Properties reopened 120 Wall Street Wednesday morning for the first time since Hurricane Sandy flooded the 600,000-square-foot building’s basement and damaged electrical distribution equipment.
The company pumped more than one million gallons of water out from the building’s basement and removed contaminants before methodically checking all base systems to get them back up and running, Jeremy Moss, the firm’s vice president of leasing told The Commercial Observer.
“Since the storm we’ve been working around the clock to get the building up and running and to bring tenants back – we succeeded this morning at 8 a.m,” Mr. Moss said.
All building systems, including passenger and freight elevators are operating, but they are running on a temporary power supply system that uses a mix of Con Edison power and generators to bypass damaged electrical distribution equipment.
Tenants were greeted with pastries and coffee this morning by Silverstein Properties’ entire leasing team, which includes Mr. Moss, Joseph Artusa and executive vice president Roger Silverstein.
The building is 80 percent leased and tenants include the National Urban League, American Foundation for AIDS Research, Lamda Legal Defense and Education Fund, and The United Negro College Fund.
“They are back in and going about their business,” Mr. Moss said.
At the Observer Media Group’s Masters of Real Estate conference last week Silverstein Properties Chief Executive Larry Silverstein said all current and future construction will place generators and mechanical equipment on upper floors.
“One of the lessons we learned from 9/11 is that a good place to put generators is not down at the bottom, it’s at the top,” Mr. Silverstein said.
The company is evaluating the possibility of relocating electrical and mechanical infrastructure into upper floors at 120 Broadway as well, Mr. Moss said.
“With the proper modifications, there’s no reason that the buildings along Water Street won’t be able to weather the storm,” he said.
The company’s other buildings were not significantly damaged during the storm, and both 7 World Trade Center and 120 Broadway opened shortly after ConEd restored power on the Saturday after the storm.
Moss said the company is proceeding with a $6 million lobby and façade renovation at 120 Wall Street, with an expected completion in spring 2013.
As of Monday, 37 of 183 buildings in Lower Manhattan remained closed, down from 49 as of November 5, according to data from Jones Lang LaSalle.