Major office renovations drive uptick in DOB alteration dollar volume in May

By Atticus O’Brien-Pappalardo

While the total number of permit applications filed for office renovations has continued to fall during the covid-19 pandemic, large filings have been increasing, causing the total dollar value of these applications to increase.

In the first nine business days of May, there have already been $565.5 million in office renovations filed, a number that has increased every month of 2020. The value is the second greatest over the last 11 months, and the greatest so far in 2020. With that being said, the total number of filings has been dropping since the start of the pandemic. Office renovation filings have been down since the start of quarter three in 2019, but have been dropping even more recently.

PincusCo Media analyzed the city’s Department of Buildings Alteration 1 and 2 filings with an estimated price of $20,000 or more, filed since January 1, 2019. Alteration 1 filings seek a change to the certificate of occupancy in the building, while Alteration 2 filings are for other work such as renovation, facade work, etc. that does not change the use or occupancy of the structure.

The monetary value of office renovation filings in May was powered by these five filings of $21 million or more.

Related Companies were responsible for two of the top three filings. The two permit applications, totaling $84 million worth of renovations, were filed May 4. They called for work on 10 floors at 10 Columbus Circle, the Time Warner Center. Both filings were described as “removal and installation of interior non-bearing partitions and related finishes.” The rehab will be done by Gensler, according to the plans.

The second largest filing came from Columbia Property Trust on May 1, when they filed a permit application for a $33.1 million rehab of the cellar, roof, and floors one through 17 of the 181,724-square-foot office building at 101 Franklin Street in Tribeca.

SL Green’s $29.6 million tenant built-out at One Vanderbilt in Grand Central, filed on May 13, was the fourth largest of the month so far. The plans called for a renovation on multiple floors, owned by TD Bank of the 1,404-foot tall, 59-story, building that is currently under construction.

Rounding out the top five was Rockefeller Group’s $21 million rehab of multiple floors at the former Time-Life Building, filed on May 7. The plans call for a renovation of floors 1, 42, 43, 45, and 46 of the 574-foot tall, 47-story, building.

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