From the outside, 222 Broadway fits the stereotype of the Downtown financial office tower.
But when Bank of America downsized, leaving roughly 250,000 square feet of space vacant, a series of tours guided by its new owner, L&L Holdings, quickly blasted that stereotype away.
Condé Nast committed to 80,000 square feet at the tower in early March. WeWork, which provides collaborative workspace for tech and media companies, was next in line.
A decade ago, a walk down Fifth Avenue near 17th Street would have included a stop at advertising firm Geer DuBois, and a walk farther north on Park Avenue South would have culminated in a visit to Angelo & Maxie’s Steakhouse.
Both were pioneering tenants, willing to take a chance on the less desirable precincts of Midtown South—and both are gone.
L&L Holding Company’s development of 425 Park Avenue may be the company’s current marquee project, but the firm, which chairman and CEO David Levinson co-founded with Robert Lapidus in 2000, continues to make a mark on Midtown South. In January, L&L purchased 114 Fifth Avenue in a $165 million joint venture, planning to model it after 200 Fifth Avenue, a thriving symbol of Midtown South’s bull real estate market. Mr. Levinson, 64, who owns a stake in the New York Yankees, spoke with The Commercial Observer about Midtown South, the threat of bomb attacks and the Bronx Bombers.
LEGO Systems has inked a 10-year lease for 7,703 square feet of retail space at 200 Fifth Avenue. The company behind the beloved children’s building blocks projects that the new flagship will open in January 2014, and in a building that for 75 years was known as the International Toy Center before L&L Holdings bought it in 2009, the New York Post reported.
L&L’s David C. Berkey and Andrew Wiener represented the building in-house, while Cushman & Wakefield‘s Jonathan Scibilia and Andrew Kahn represented the toy tenant.
As leasing agent for some of Manhattan’s most iconic buildings, CBRE executive vice president Brad Gerla has access to some impressive real estate—like J.P. Morgan’s former pied-à-terre on the 31st floor of 14 Wall Street or the neo-Gothic inner workings of the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway.
So it was strange to chat with him one recent rainy morning in a nondescript conference room in an equally nondescript–dare we say blah–office, save for the fact that the conference room was nestled inside the former MetLife headquarters at 11 Madison Avenue.