A historic building in Lower Manhattan has been restored to preserve its legacy in the city while creating new job opportunities.
The Battery Maritime Building underwent extensive renovations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The building now serves as a symbol of economic recovery in New York City, as the renovated space now includes multiple grand event spaces, a hotel, spa and wellness center, as well as restaurants, bars and lounges. The building brings with it 150 full-time jobs and 200 part-time jobs.
The project was spearheaded by Cipriani, Midtown Equities, and Centaur Properties, who joined New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), elected officials and community partners at The Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday to celebrate the completion of the renovations with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“We are proud to join with our partners to re-introduce New Yorkers to the great architectural gem that is the Battery Maritime Building, which has been transformed as a symbol of the recovery,” said NYCEDC President and CEO Rachel Loeb. “We want to thank all of our elected officials for supporting this magnificent project, and the team from Midtown Equities, Centaur Properties, and Cipriani for forging ahead with the work despite the challenges brought on by the COVID crisis, including delays and higher costs across the board. Despite that, we are so excited to present this beautiful gift to the city and bring new jobs to Lower Manhattan.”
The design, restoration, and construction of the redevelopment project were overseen by Marvel Architects and Thierry W. Despont Ltd. Operated by Cipriani, the space has reopened under the name Casa Cipriani and features a 30,000-square-foot event space centered around the historic Great Hall on the 2nd floor that provides a location for both private and public events; a 47-key hotel on the third and fourth floors with a spa and fitness center; and a spacious club with restaurants and lounges on the 5th floor with panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Under an agreement made with NYCEDC and the developer, the spaces on the second floor will have designated public hours and will be made available for public events and programming.
“The Battery Maritime Building is a beautiful reminder of the rich maritime history of Lower Manhattan,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, “Congratulations to Midtown Equities, Centaur Properties, and Cipriani for completing the restoration of one of Lower Manhattan’s most special historic places. I encourage all New Yorkers to take the ferry to Governor’s Island from the Battery Maritime Building and to visit the newly restored Great Hall while there.”
The original Battery Maritime Building was designed by architects Richard Walker and Charles Morris and was built in 1909. The building is the last surviving East River ferry building from an era when 17 ferry lines traveled between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The ferry had shut down in 1938, but has since reopened with ferry service running between Manhattan and Governors Island to and from the Battery Maritime Building.
The building was designated a landmark in 1967 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. New York City began to invest millions of dollars to renovate portions of the pier and the building’s exterior to attract investment into the project in the early 2000s, with current developers, Midtown Equities and Centaur Properties, re-envisioning the project and investing additional funding later on. Their restoration has since won the prestigious Lucy G. Moses Preservation award from the New York Landmarks Conservancy.
“The Department of Buildings applauds the restoration of this historic landmark to its former glory,” said Buildings Commissioner Melanie E. La Rocca. “New York City’s ongoing economic recovery is being fueled by necessary projects like the one just completed at the Battery Maritime Building, providing critical repairs to keep the building in safe condition, while providing much needed employment opportunities for our fellow New Yorkers.”