Time Equities’ 100-Year-Old Union Square Building Gets Modern Updates

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When Time Equities decided to renovate its headquarters — a prewar, 19-story office building at 55 Fifth Avenue near Union Square — it struggled to figure out how to improve the building because it has a relatively narrow, 26-foot-wide footprint. And, because the property is a commercial condominium, Time Equities only owns the top half, while Yeshiva University owns Cardozo Law School’s home on the lower 11 floors. 

“It’s a pretty space-constrained building,” said Paul Kelterborn, Time Equities’ director of design innovation. “It was challenging to find space where we could introduce shared amenities.”

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He explained that they were turning an awkwardly configured office on the 19th floor into an 850-square-foot gym. The space occupies the middle of the floor and only has one window, making it difficult to rent. And the building’s elevator only goes to the 18th floor, forcing tenants who rent on the 19th to take the stairs up. Time Equities is also fixing up an unused setback on the 19th floor and turning it into a 1,200-square-foot roof deck with planters and seating, which the entire building will be able to access.

Other updates include new bathrooms on several floors and a renovation of the small first-floor office lobby. The existing brown terrazzo floors in the lobby will stay, and Time Equities will put in a new, light wooden reception desk with matching wood paneling on the walls behind it. The rest of the walls will be outfitted in white marble paneling. The lobby, which has 20-foot ceilings, features rotating art, and is currently displaying colorful wooden sculptures by Brooklyn artist Damien Davis

Work on both the lobby and the roof deck is expected to start in the next month and finish by the end of spring. The gym is already under construction and that is expected to wrap in the next few months.

Time Equities is also renovating the elevator cabs and the elevator mechanicals, and it replaced the building’s chiller system. It created a prebuilt suite on the 13th floor, which it leased to interior designer Jeremiah Brent. Overall, the property is 92 percent leased, with asking rents in the low- to mid-$70s per square foot.