An iconic blue-green terracotta building near the Port Authority bus terminal is exploring the conversion of its upper floors into luxury residential rentals.
The McGraw-Hill Building at 330 W. 42nd St. in Midtown Manhattan is a former loft office tower designed by Raymond Hood in a mix of Art Deco and International styles that was completed in 1931.
It is known for “McGraw-Hill” prominently, and stylishly, written in 11-foot-tall white terracotta letters on the top of the 35-story property’s north and south facades.
The building itself is attractive and is also known for its changing color scheme that extends upwards. Of that striking aesthetic, Hood once wrote: “Dutch blue at the base, with sea green window stripes, the blue gradually fading to a lighter hue as the building rises, until it finally blends into the azure blue of the sky.”
McGraw-Hill later sold the building to Group Health Insurance for its headquarters, and the current owners bought it in 1979. At one point in the building’s history, Marvel Comics had offices there, and it’s where the late Stan Lee drew Spider. -Man and other superheroes.
“It is perfectly suited for a conversion,” said Gerard Nocera of Resolution Real Estate, the owner’s representative. “It is the first skyscraper built horizontally for light and air. We are considering the conversion of the 11th to the 32nd floor for apartments and, above that, two residential service floors.”
Architect Gloria Glass of SLCE Architects is designing a variety of large studios and one-bedroom units along with some two-bedrooms.
“We have the luxury of having slightly larger apartments,” Nocera said.
The goal, he added, is to create a product that adapts to the new lifestyle of living and working and includes a work area. “My architects are extremely creative,” she said.
The 33rd and 34th floors, the residential service floors, benefit from 20-foot ceilings.
“Can you see the [New Year’s Eve] the ball drop to the east and the Statute of Liberty to the south,” Nocera added of the 485-foot-tall tower and its sweeping mid-block views.
The owners explored a residential conversion in the past. But when faced with a completely empty building during the pandemic, they focused on adding $130 million in spectacular office and lobby amenities, as well as $100 million in mechanical upgrades, including elevators and HVAC systems, all designed by architects Dan Shannon and Tricia Ebner of MdeAS. .
The bottom 300,000 square feet will remain offices, Nocera said, and all of those floors also have high ceilings. There are already leases with asking rents at $80 and $90 a foot, depending on location, she said.
In addition, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission also previously approved the creation of a new entrance on the West 41st Street side of the building along with converting most of the loading docks there to glass storefronts. “We’re revitalizing that street,” Nocera said.
Despite the property’s long commercial history, converting part of it to residential doesn’t seem like a logistical headache.
“One of the beauties of a conversion is that we don’t have to change any of the infrastructure or the alignment of the elevator banks,” added Nocera. “The HVAC is also easily converted for the residential upstairs.”