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5 Manhattan West goes from eyesore to eye candy

Brookfield invested $350 million to transform the former Hudson Yards “elephant foot” warehouse into a gleaming mixed-use destination.

450 W. 33rd St. has been one of New York City’s most curious architectural wonders since its completion in 1969, but thanks to a $350 million renovation, it likely won’t be called “the elephant’s foot” any longer.

The building in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards was originally completed in 1969 by Davis Brody, an architecture firm now known as Davis Brody Bond. In the 1980s, it underwent a renovation that gave it its unflattering yet apt nickname after its structural elements were painted beige, and brown metal siding was added.

Brooklyn-based architecture firm REX turned the Brookfield building, now known as 5 Manhattan West, into a gleaming glass structure that is nearly unrecognizable as the former concrete warehouse. 

The revamping of the Brutalist building included repositioning, recladding and renovating its interior, which will now offer retail space on the ground floor in an area that used to be loading docks. A two-story elevated breezeway has been excavated into the south side of the building, which visually connects to the High Line.

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Though the work has been done with some current tenants in place, they’ll have some new neighbors soon, including Amazon, which is slated to bring 2,000 high-paying sales, finance, marketing and IT jobs to the 16-story building.

The online retailer leased 360,000 square feet at 5 Manhattan West and will occupy the sixth and seventh floors, Curbed reported in September. Whole Foods, which is owned by Amazon, will set up shop in a 60,000-square-foot space on the ground floor, the outlet said.

The rest of the building is 99 percent leased, officials said. 

5 Manhattan West is part of Brookfield’s mixed-use development at Manhattan West, which will consist of six buildings on eight acres stretching from Ninth Avenue to Tenth Avenue and from 31st Street to 33rd Street.

In total, the complex will feature nearly 6 million square feet of office space, luxury residences, a boutique hotel, retail space, landscaped gardens and more. 

 
 
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