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Rudin's Three Tips For Making Properties Last

New York

Show us a property owner who looks for building materials that'll outlast brick, and we'll show you a long-term owner. Here's how the legendary long-hauler Rudin Management is investing in its portfolio of 36 buildings (10M SF of office and 4M SF of residential).


Michael Rudin, whom we snapped in his 345 Park Ave office, tells us his firm was the first to fully wire one of its buildings for the Internet after Bill Rudin and COO John Gilbert read Nicholas Negroponte's Being Digital. It was 1995 and the building was 55 Broad St, a 400k SF biggie that delivered vacant after major tenant Drexel Burnham's bankruptcy. Here's how the company continues to be proactive:

1) The big bad wolf can't blow down terra cotta, either


Rudin is investing $90M in the 1M SF, 600-apartment 215 E 68th St (which we snapped this morning), including a terra cotta rain screen (popular in Europe but never used on a large-scale building in the States) rather than replacing the brick. The new skin hangs a few inches off the wall, and the air that flows through forces moisture out through the panels. The price difference is minimal, Michael says, but the terra cotta lasts longer. The facade delivered this summer, and now Rudin is renovating the lobby, adding a gym and children's play room, and sprucing up the driveway and landscaping. Michael also tells us the company just leased 13k SF in the building at 68th and Second to Grace's Marketplace.

2) Show them the space


Over at The Greenwich Lane, Rudin is doing for residential what tech companies like 42Floors and View the Space do for commercial: giving potential buyers iMax-worthy virtual tours of what their space could look like. Michael says this redevelopment of St. Vincent's has such a variety of units that it's hard to sell off floor plans this early (condos will deliver from late '15 through the first half of '16), so Rudin uses an iPad-like, 80-inch screen to show potential condo buyers floor plans, renderings, and even views. It's pre-certified Gold for LEED for Neighborhood Development (the first pre-certified resi one in Manhattan) and tracking Gold for New Construction. And harkening back to 55 Broad, it's got "ubiquitous WiFi," meaning each unit can have its own secure network and use all those cool home automation tools you see in commercials.

3) Don't shop off the shelf; build your own


We snapped this Emmy in the company's office. Bill won it for the 2006 documentary The Lew Rudin Way about his father (Meryl Streep finally took a year off), and a street sign of the same name hangs outside 345 Park at 52nd. At that building and Rudin's 560 Lex, the company is piloting the first operating system for the built environment, Di-BOSS, which links all the building's networks. Developed with Columbia University and Finmeccanica, it lets landlords and even large tenants watch and control all the operating goodies.


Here's 345 Park. Over at 560 Lex, Michael tells, the building used 30% less energy during July's five-day heat wave than during similar hot periods. Di-BOSS uses fancy algorithms (that's where Columbia came in) to help determine the best wake-up and go-to-sleep times for buildings (including anticipating weather and occupancy), and plenty more. Finmeccanica subsidiary Selex eventually will sell the product, and Rudin hopes to use it on residential projects, as well.