RFR to Give Manhattan’s 285 Madison a $65M Makeover

The 530,000-square-foot office tower is undergoing a $65 million repositioning that will convert the vacant property into a premier, state-of-the-art Midtown office destination that will add a little recreation to the workplace.
Retail rendering

Retail rendering

There’s a new future in store for the Manhattan office building at 285 Madison Ave., and its owner, RFR Holding L.L.C., has just revealed the details. The 530,000-square-foot office tower is undergoing a $65 million repositioning that will convert the vacant property into a premier, state-of-the-art Midtown office destination that will add a little recreation to the workplace.

Sited just one block from Grand Central Station, the corridors of 285 Madison have been mostly silent since RFR and Green Oak Real Estate acquired the 26-story building for roughly $190 million from owner/occupant Young & Rubicam in December 2012. Now, STUDIOS Architecture has come aboard to spearhead the property’s transformation inside out.

And the timing is right for the project, according to commercial real estate services firm CBRE Group, which has been tapped by RFR to spearhead leasing at 285 Madison.

“The tenant community is increasingly gravitating toward buildings that afford a work/lifestyle balance for their employees,” a member of the CBRE leasing team told Commercial Property Executive. “Buildings that are in close proximity to a park and can offer other on-site amenities are at a competitive advantage.”

The end result of 285 Madison’s reinvention will be an office property with premier workspace and a list of amenities designed to place relaxation and recreation within users’ immediate reach. Tenants will be able to make use of event space, a café and kitchen, and activity space featuring billiards and the like.

“The renovation of 285 Madison will allow tenants to leverage the central location in Midtown with a host of lifestyle benefits including a landscaped roof deck, fitness center with showers, a bicycle room and tenant lounge,” the CBRE leasing team member added.

The tower’s infrastructure will get a boost with new elevators and HVAC system, and the entrance and lobby of the 1920s-era building will be reconceived. Additionally, 40,000 square feet of retail space will be offered.

RFR is also taking 285 Madison green with LEED Silver certification.

The capital improvement campaign is on track to reach completion in the first quarter of 2014.