Post Sandy: RDM Tours 125 Broad Street

RDM was recently invited to an exclusive building tour of 125 Broad Street; an event organized by the NAIOP NYC Chapter and guided by members of the Cushman & Wakefield property management team.

125 Broad is located in the financial district right on the water’s edge, roughly 1.4m sf in size, anchored by Sullivan & Cromwell, and has earned the distinction of LEED Silver Certified.

Unfortunately when Sandy came roaring through NYC last year, the building was left with three flooded basement levels about three acres in size - in fact, the flood level came within 12 inches of the lobby.  The building’s fuel tanks, electrical switch rooms, and Sullivan & Cromwell’s document storage were all housed in the lower levels. Fortunately though the fuel tanks did not break (this happened at 85 Broad); however, the switch room was destroyed as well as most of the legal documents.

Prior to Sandy 125 Broad had set in place flood precautions for a so called 100-Year Storm.  The storm surge sadly exceeded an aggressive (at the time) 5 foot flood plain estimate by 4 feet and made the building’s flood gates which were set up to prevent excessive water from entering via the street entrance to the underground garage levels brutally obsolete

Despite all the water, loss of power, and damage to the elevator shafts, 125 Broad was up and running within 2 weeks! The property management team credited this quick turnaround to having a staff with decades of experience at the building. For instance they understood quickly which parts/materials needed to be ordered and how best to set them up.  The amazing work done by the team resulted in the building being featured in the Wall Street Journal article, “New Stars Arise After Sandy," on November 12, 2012.

In preparation for this coming hurricane season, 125 Broad has moved the switch room to the lobby level and is looking to pressurize and seal the fuel rooms and elevator shafts in the lower levels, amongst other things. It was noted however by the property management team that even with the investment in flood prevention upgrades there is only so much that can be done but remain hopeful that enhanced precautions will mitigate damage from another super storm or at least not cost another plus $15m.