Union square

Time Equities’ century-old Union Square building gets modern updates

When Time Equities decided to renovate its headquarters – a 19-story pre-war 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 footprint. 26 feet wide. And, because the property is a commercial condominium, Time Equities only owns the top half, while Yeshiva University owns the Cardozo Law School house on the lower 11 floors.

“It’s a pretty tight building in terms of space,” said Paul Kelterborn, director of design innovation at Time Equities. “It was difficult to find a space where we could introduce shared equipment.”

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 has only one window, which makes it difficult to rent. And the building’s elevator only goes to the 18th floor, forcing tenants who rent on the 19th to climb the stairs. Time Equities is also in the process of repairing an unused setback on the 19th floor and converting it into a 1,200 square foot rooftop terrace 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 office lobby on the first floor. The existing brown terrazzo floors in the lobby will remain and Time Equities will install a new light wood reception desk with matching wood paneling on the walls behind. The rest of the walls will be clad in white marble panelling. The lobby, which has 20-foot ceilings, features rotating artwork and currently features colorful wood carvings by Brooklyn artist Damien Davis.

Work on the lobby and rooftop terrace is expected to begin next month and be completed by late spring. The gymnasium is already under construction and should be finished in the next few months.

Time Equities is also renovating elevator cabins and mechanics, and has replaced the building’s cooling system. He created a pre-built suite on the 13th floor, which he rented from interior designer Jeremiah Brent. Overall, the property is 92% leased, with asking rents in the $70 per square foot range.