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Bank Note Building begins major renovations

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A fixture in the Hunts Point area for the past 96-years is now undergoing a massive enhancement project that will bring back past greatness and new splendor to the massive four-building complex better known as the Bank Note Building.

Pre-development renovations have already produced tangible results, with the installation of new windows throughout much of the building, which Taconic Investment Partners and Denham Wolf Real Estate purchased at the start of the year for $32 million.

The T-shaped, 405,000 square-foot, set of four buildings was the former home to the American Bank Note engraving plant, hugging Lafayette and Garrison avenues and Barretto Street.

“The $25 million physical plant improvement will result in the additional leasing of space and new tenants,” said Douglas Winshall, of Taconic Investment Partners. “It will predominantly be office space, and we are also hoping for a little bit of retail.”

Through the extensive renovation project now underway, the companies hope to inspire a new point of view by expanding the artist studios already housed in the structure, and offering more culinary options.

The complex comprises four different buildings, which will be marketed to different kinds of companies and individuals. The Lafayette Wing has six stories, while the Barretto wing has four stories, the Garrison three stories, and the north wing is a single story. About 70% of the space is available for lease.

“We are advertising spaces from 2,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet,” Winshall said. “We can accommodate many different-sized businesses.”

Winshall added that the Hunts Point neighborhood is a great asset to the building, and that the current enhancements underway, which include all new elevators, common areas, and electrical systems, as well as exterior renovations, will mean not just physical improvements but also new, interesting tenants that will be in the Hunts Point neighborhood.

The building received official city landmark designation this year in a move that the current developers supported. Bank Note was designed by the firm Kirby, Petit & Green and built by 2,000 skilled laborers. It was completed in 1911.

Architecture and Building magazine noted it’s “arsenal-like appearance with a pervading sense of strength and security.”

Inside, the building was used to print foreign currency, stock certificates and stamps, until the American Banknote Company moved to Blauvelt, New York in 1985.

Taconic, a real estate investment company that has acquired and redeveloped more than 9 million square feet of property across the U.S., are working with Denham Wolf, a real estate development and consulting firm that specializes in representing the not-for profit sector, to enhance the building’s already established attributes while also improving infrastructure and circulation, enhancing security and incorporating various green elements into the renovation.

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