60 Wall Street | KPF | Paramount Group

The latest tower to join the crop undertaking nine-figure renovations to prepare for a post-Covid office environment is 60 Wall Street, the 47-story tower designed in 1989 by architecture firm Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates. Owner Paramount Group is emptying out the building and readying it for a more than $250 million overhaul designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox.

Improvements will see the public lobby transformed from a stone-clad box to a glassy, light-filled portico complete with a 100-foot-tall, block-long verdant wall (the largest in North America), a new vaulted atrium capped with a skylight, the addition of a "grand staircase" leading to the subway station below, a restaurant and cafe, and more public seating. The tower as a whole will get a new ventilation system that utilizes virus-blocking filtration, and more windows will be added to the lower floors, according to the NY Post, which first shared the news. 

60 Wall Street's proposed new lobby | KPF | Paramount Group

60 Wall Street's proposed new lobby | KPF | Paramount Group

Although only 30 years old, 60 Wall Street was considered out of date even before the pandemic hit. Built for JP Morgan in the 1980s, the building's mechanical systems and electronic infrastructure were constructed to support trading activities. As it stands today, the tower's office spaces are not quite suitable for most modern companies, especially those in the booming tech and media sectors.

The massive lobby, too, even with its indoor subway entrance, is dim and has long been underused. The awkward interior decor could best be described as "Guastavino goes to Vegas" with its patchy post-modern riffs on Greek revival, white marble, and kooky vaulted lattice ceilings.

The current lobby interior | Advocates for Privately Owned Public Space

Even as the Manhattan office market struggles to attract and keep tenants, Paramount CEO Albert Behler sees a bright future for the 1.6 million-square-foot building.

“With the reimagining of the building, 60 Wall will compete with the best in Manhattan, including new construction,” said Behler to the NY Post.  

Deutsche Bank is the only tenant now in the tower and they are slated to move to the Time Warner Center this year. Work on 60 Wall Street won't start until June 2022 when Deutsche's lease officially ends. However, before any work on the lobby begins, Paramount will need to obtain city approval, as it is a privately owned public space (or POPS). The staircase leading to the subway will also need to be approved by the MTA.

The updated building is expected to be ready for new tenants mid-2023.