The stunning landmark neo-Gothic Argonaut Building at Broadway and 57th Street has been awarded LEED Gold certification. The 10-story white terra cotta structure underwent a two-year green renovation after M1 Real Estate signed a 99-year lease on the building in 2008. The building was originally built in 1909, and only a handful of 100-year-old buildings in the city have achieved LEED Gold due to the complexities of retrofits.
The 750,000 square foot building has undergone complete internal renovations, including the installation of an efficient HVAC system, new electrical service, modern elevators, lobby upgrades, a life safety generator, and a fire protection system. The renovations cost approximately $45 million and were completed by the architecture group Gensler. The challenges came with figuring out how to bring 21st century technology into a 20th century building. James Dempsey, managing director at Colliers International, the marketing firm for the Argonaut Building, spoke with The Observer about the challenges they faced:
“We ran into a number of obstacles, some of them being structural issues and the way the ductwork and piping went through the building. But the biggest challenge was that the building was landmarked so there are lots of issues you need to have approved not only by the City of New York and the Department of Buildings, but also the Landmark Commission. So that was an arduous task because certain things we just couldn’t do. The placement of equipment and where it was located-it couldn’t be visible from the street. So we had to go over that hurdle right away.”
The renovations are 100 percent complete, and M1 is encouraging all prospective tenants to pursue LEED for Commercial Interiors certification. In August 2009, they signed a 20-year lease with TD Bank for a 4,700 square foot office space. Green Building NYC notes that the certification should make New York City the metro area with the second most LEED Gold buildings in America.
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