NYPD quickly discovered the bomb shell was actually a time capsule filled with papers and issued an all-clear in the area.
John Argento, who owned a nightclub on the property that is now home to an office building, said he buried the time capsule 33 years ago for a party at his former club.
"We were just looking for a party to do and we bought this shell of a bomb at an Army Navy store on Canal Street and 6th," he told CBS New York. "We invited people to write cards and say hello to people in the future."
Argento said the club closed in 1986 and he has hoped to return one day and open up the decades-old time capsule.
"I was hoping the contents survived and I want to get them back because a lot of people ask about it," he said.
Police said it's not protocol to return the bomb shell, but Argento will likely be permitted to reclaim the contents in a few days after they have been thoroughly searched.