Tommy Hilfiger Changes Manhattan Base with 200 KSF Lease

The company will occupy nine floors in the 1920s-era building that has undergone a $65 million gut renovation and design upgrade.

By Gail Kalinoski

Tommy Hilfiger and Aby Rosen
Tommy Hilfiger and Aby Rosen

New York—Tommy Hilfiger, the global luxury apparel business owned by PVH Corp., is the latest company to lease space in RFR Realty’s newly repositioned 285 Madison Ave. in midtown Manhattan.

Tommy Hilfiger, which designs and manufactures high-end apparel for men, women and children, as well as a range of other licensed products including footwear, accessories and home furnishings, has taken 200,000 square feet in the 26-story, 510,000-square-foot office tower on the northeast corner of Madison Avenue and 40th Street. The fashion company will occupy nine floors—all of seven floors and parts of two others—in the 1920s-era building that has undergone a $65 million gut renovation and design upgrade. Tommy Hilfiger is moving from the Starrett-Lehigh Building at 601 W. 26th St. in West Chelsea, where it has been since 2004.

Plans for the makeover were announced in October 2013, less than a year after RFR acquired the property for about $190 million with then-partner Green Oak Real Estate. RFR has since bought out the partner and is sole owner of 285 Madison Ave. The building, which was vacant when it was bought in December 2012, has a landscaped roof terrace with lounge seating and adjacent multipurpose space with art displays. Tenant amenities include a private lounge, events space, fitness center and bike storage area. The lobby also has a rotating contemporary art program and is currently featuring works by Peter Dayton, Enoc Perez and Mike Bidlo. The building, located one block from Grand Central Terminal, is convenient to mass transit, including the East Side subways. It also near PVH’s headquarters at 200 Madison, the Calvin Klein division at 205 W. 39th St. and additional PVH offices at 501 Seventh Ave., according to the New York Post.

285 Madison Ave. in New York
285 Madison Ave. in New York

“Tommy Hilfiger’s choice to locate its North American headquarters at 285 Madison highlights the building’s unique appeal following our successful efforts to modernize and transform it,” Aby Rosen, RFR co-founder & principal, said in a prepared statement. “Attracting this international luxury lifestyle and apparel brand to a new home here underscores the property’s appeal in terms of outstanding location and amenities. We’re proud to see the market embrace our vision for sophisticated, modern office space within a historic structure.”

Matthew Astrachan, Mitchell Konsker, Joseph Messina and Steven Bauer of JLL represented PVH Corp. in the long-term lease. The landlord was represented by Alexander Chudnoff, Dan Turkewitz and Diana Biasotti, also of JLL, as AJ Camhi, RFR senior vice president & director of leasing.

“PVH was seeking an occupancy solution with permanent branding opportunities, sharing amenities and building infrastructure that would enable the creation of a modern, collaborative workplace environment,” Astrachan said in prepared remarks. “We were able to work closely with RFR to relocate Tommy Hilfiger into terrific space that is much closer to PVH’s corporate headquarters and PVH’s offices for its Calvin Klein and Heritage Brands businesses. By making this move, PVH expects to reduce Tommy Hilfiger’s occupancy costs and relocate into space that is much more efficient for both PVH and the Tommy Hilfiger business.”

Tommy Hilfiger joins other tenants at 285 Madison Ave. that include a MetLife company, Brighthouse Financial, Bessemer Venture Partners, StriVectin Operating Co., General Electric Co. and Misys International Banking Systems. More than 350,000 square feet of new office leases were signed for the building in 2016, according to JLL.

The retail space is also nearly complete. The Benjamin Group, a popular restaurant operator, signed a 16-year lease for 9,020 square feet for a Benjamin Steakhouse. Popular Community Bank, part of the international financial services group Banco Popular, signed a lease for the 3,553-square-foot corner space. London-based coffee company Taylor Street Baristas will take 1,040 square feet of space adjacent to the restaurant and part of the mezzanine space.