Some Sandy-Damaged Manhattan Office Buildings to Reopen Soon

By Ilaina Jonas | November 14, 2012

Some Manhattan office buildings badly damaged by SuperStorm Sandy two weeks ago are coming back on line faster than even their owners predicted.

One New York Plaza will allow the first group of its tenants to move back in Monday, and the rest will be able to return within a week after that, Richard Clark, chairman of building owner Brookfield Office Properties Inc, said Tuesday at the Bloomberg Commercial Real Estate Conference. Tenants include law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP and investment bank Morgan Stanley.

Twenty-three million gallons of water flooded into the three sublevels of the 50-story building at Water and Whitehall streets, Clark said.

On Wednesday, 120 Wall Street – a 34-story building constructed in 1929 – will be open for tenants, said Jano Lieber, president of World Trade Center Properties LLC, a unit of Silverstein Properties.

Some of the worst damage to office buildings located on low-lying coastal areas of the southernmost part of downtown Manhattan was because of building and fire codes that required fuel tanks for generators to be located below ground.

When the water rushed in, it flooded the basements and sub-basement levels, rendering the pumps inoperable. Without the pumps, fuel couldn’t get to the generators, which would create the electricity to power other pumps to push out flood waters.

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