NYC’s McGraw-Hill building slated for residential conversion

Dive Brief:

  • The McGraw-Hill building, a landmark office tower in Midtown Manhattan, is set to undergo a partial residential conversion that will turn its top two-thirds into 224 luxury apartments.
  • The redevelopment plan by New York City-based owner and developer Resolution Real Estate covers the entire building, according to a press release shared with Multifamily Dive. Floors 2 through 11 will remain office space, floors 12 through 32 will be converted into residential units, and floors 33 and 34 will be given over to amenities. 
  • The project, announced earlier this month, is expected to be complete next year. New York City-based MdeAS Architects will manage the office and residential conversions, while SLCE Architects, also New York City-based, will design the apartment layouts. The residential units will range from studios to two-bedroom apartments, with loft-like apartment layouts designed to take advantage of the oversized windows and high ceilings.

Dive Insight:

The McGraw-Hill building, built in 1931 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989, was once home to the McGraw-Hill Publishing Co. as well as the original home of Marvel Comics. Designed by architect Raymond Hood, the 35-story, Art Deco-style tower features a blue-green terracotta panel facade with windows framed in green metal. 

Resolution recently finished a separate $120 million renovation project at the building, including restoration of the exterior and a complete overhaul of its HVAC system. The developer also plans to retain and restore the McGraw-Hill signage on the outside of the building.

“The McGraw-Hill building is perfectly suited for this type of conversion, with its incredible ceiling heights, access to natural light and open interior floor plans — not to mention a truly iconic presence on the city skyline,” said Gerard Nocera, managing partner of Resolution Real Estate Partners, in the release. No property manager has yet been announced for the residential portion.

Office-to-multifamily conversions have become more common in recent years, rising 40% between 2020 and 2021 alone — and drawing the interest of more developers in the process. This is due in part to a drop in office space demand related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in working from home and the desire to create “live-work-play” developments in downtown areas.

The District of Columbia is considered one of the top locations for office-to-multifamily conversions, with 5.6% of the nation’s total units in this category. While New York City is not among the leaders in multifamily conversion, the city’s office vacancy has risen to 18% since the start of the pandemic. 

Mayor Eric Adams has announced the city’s intent to modify zoning in Midtown Manhattan — where the McGraw-Hill building is located — to allow for more housing development, including rent-restricted units. The mayor’s “moonshot goal” is 500,000 new units in the city over the next decade.

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