While many large conglomerates may be temporarily pausing projects due to the pandemic, Manhattan’s largest office realty group, SL Green, recently closed on a $1.25 billion dollar construction loan for One Madison Avenue, a square right in the heart of the Flatiron District. Chairman and CEO of SL Green shook off any worries about starting construction on this billion-dollar project, saying, “Our commitment and belief in New York City is unwavering…we remain focused on boosting the New York City economy by creating thousands of construction jobs and bringing a new, best-in-class office tower to the highly sought-after Flatiron/Midtown South submarket.”
SL Green is also partnering with the National Pension Service of Korea and Hines, and as of November 27, 2020, construction has already commenced on the $2.3 billion redevelopment project. SL Green and Hines are working with the architectural firm of Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF), with plans to convert the current 13-story building into a 27-story class A office building with more modern features.
What Changes Will Be Made to the Current One Madison Avenue Building?
Both SL Green and KPF agree that they want to preserve the building’s original integrity while providing upgrades not only to improve aesthetics, but to improve cleanliness and air quality, which is extremely important in a post-COVID world. The existing structure will be demolished, but only to the ninth floor; 18 floors will be built above it.
Above the redeveloped podium, 530,000 square feet will be added to the structure with 32 35,000-sq. Ft floor plates, which are designed to improve internal flexibility within the building. Additionally, new HVAC and circulation systems will be installed, to seek both LEED-Gold and WELL certification. These new systems should improve air quality within the redeveloped building.
What Is the History Between SL Green and KPF?
SL Green and the architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF) have worked together before on other projects within the city and are excited to be working with one another again. KPF and SL Green worked together on One Vanderbilt, the tallest office tower in Midtown Manhattan, and has now become a staple in New York City’s skyline.
What Is One Madison Avenue?
One Madison Avenue is the east wing of a skyscraper that comprises a complete block in New York City’s Flatiron District. It is known as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Tower (or simply the Met Life Tower), and has two distinct sections: the North Building and the South Building. The Met Life Tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is quite famous for its clock tower.
Like many early skyscrapers, it has different wings (of which One Madison Avenue is one), and many additions have been built onto it throughout the years. Construction first began on the Met Life Tower in 1890 but updates were needed from time to time; it was completely renovated in 1957.
The SL Green and KPF renovation project is supposed to be completed sometime between 2022 and 2024.