Park Avenue may well have a monopoly on a chic new office space

No one knows when the city will truly be “post-pandemic”, but when it will finally beat the woes of the virus for good, Park Avenue – t...


No one knows when the city will truly be “post-pandemic”, but when it will finally beat the woes of the virus for good, Park Avenue – the premier shopping area between East 42d and East 59th streets – will be ready for it.

The corridor is in the midst of a $ 32 billion public and private investment spree, according to Weitzman Associates, an investment and development advisory firm – possibly the city’s largest 17-block stretch. .

More than $ 13 billion in public infrastructure work has been or will soon be completed, of which the lion’s share is $ 11.2 billion for MTA’s East Side Access – the eight-lane underground terminal that take the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal for the first time.

Nearly $ 19 billion is committed to ongoing or planned business development, including the JP Morgan Chase Rising Tower at 270 Park Ave. ($ 4.04 billion), recently completed A Vanderbilt at 42nd Street ($ 3.32 billion) and most important of all – the proposed Commodore project at 175 Park Ave., a 2.5 million square foot office and hotel skyscraper on a site that includes the Grand Hyatt hotel, now closed.

“There have been more fashionable destinations over the years, like Flatiron. But at the end of the day, Park Avenue is the central backbone of East Midtown, ”said Peter Bazeli, director and general manager of Weitzman. The company has worked with several avenue office owners over the years and is currently advising owner Dajia Insurance Group on its Waldorf-Astoria redevelopment project, which is due to be completed in 2023.

The iconic Waldorf, “occupying an entire city block, will be” the focal point of Park Avenue’s glamor “when it reopens, Bazeli added.

Park Avenue office tenants enjoy easy access to the Metro-North lines from Grand Central to affluent northern suburbs and several subway lines, and soon to the LIRR as well.

“With continued economic growth, the demand for transit-oriented workspaces will increase,” Bazeli said. He noted that One Vanderbilt, for example, was “based on easy access to public transportation,” which developer SL Green improved with $ 220 million in new public entrances, corridors and lobbies.

“If one segment of the Manhattan market is to be resilient, it’s location,” Bazeli said.

A view of Park Avenue from the top of the rock
A view of Park Avenue shows 425 Park while it was under construction.
Corbis via Getty Images

Park Avenue seemed to be losing luster to Sixth Avenue and downtown a few years ago, especially when Wells Fargo left 250,000 square feet at 375 Park Ave. of RFR (the Seagram Building) for Hudson Yards. But the Raymond James lease for 160,000 square feet at 320 Park Ave. of Mutual of America last summer boosted morale.

The revival of the avenue is being spurred in part by the rezoning of East Midtown, which allows for much larger buildings than previously allowed in exchange for the developers’ commitment to pay for the streetscape and transportation improvements in common.

A stroll down the avenue today – still relatively quiet as the office towers await the return of most employees – only reveals part of what is happening. Obvious changes include the rising steel of the JPMorgan Chase tower and just finished, designed by Foster + Partners 425 avenue du Parc. Developed by L&L Holding Co., it will be home of Ken Griffin’s powerful financial firm, Citadel.

Major Phillips auction house benefits from a new house much more visible in the white glass cube from 432 Park Avenue. Phillips CEO Edward Doman said, “Thanks to studioMDA’s brilliant design, our building blends indoors, outdoors and plaza, creating a sense of community in a bustling metropolis and engaging millions of international passers-by across the country. street level. “

Less obvious but equally important are the significant improvements underway behind the temporary plywood at 230 Park Ave. (the old Helmsley building), straddling the avenue, Fisher Brothers Park 299 and Park 277 of the Stahl organization.

Ken Griffin speaking in 2021
RXR chairman Scott Rechler, seen here at an event in 2021, believes 175 Park could be completed by the end of the year.
Getty Images for Tribeca Festiva

Meanwhile, Rudin Management and Vornado are considering a possible combined redevelopment of 350 Park Ave. de Vornado and 40 E. 52nd St. de Rudin behind.

RXR Realty owns 4 million square feet at 230 Park Ave. and 237 Park Ave. and three nearby locations – 450 Lexington Ave., 347 Madison Ave. and 530 Fifth Ave. He is also expected to be the lead developer for 175 Park Ave.

RXR chief executive officer Scott Rechler said the 175 park project is awaiting city approval under the Uniform Land Use Review process, which he says , could be completed by the end of the year. The mega-tower would have 2 million square feet of office space. Could there really be a market for this, given the very uncertain conditions today?

“We are having conversations today with key tenants,” Rechler said. “When you think of the big companies thriving in the city, when you want to be at the top of public transport, where do you find them on such a scale? “

He said the post-COVID market will see “a flight to quality” among space seekers.

Phillips new home at 432 Park Avenue
The new location of the Phillips auction house at 432 Park Ave. was designed to provide a “sense of community in a bustling metropolis”.
Brett Beyer.

“People returning to work need a reason to return to work – a vibrant neighborhood clustered around nodes of activity and transit,” Rechler said. “Look at One Vanderbilt. It continued to rent throughout the pandemic and is now 90% occupied. Everything helps the market as a whole.

Now all Park Avenue needs is for employees to go back to their desks. Come back soon!

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Newsrust - US Top News: Park Avenue may well have a monopoly on a chic new office space
Park Avenue may well have a monopoly on a chic new office space
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