Y&R Sells 285 Madison Avenue One Year After Fatal Elevator Accident


285 Madison Avenue. (Courtesy of NYTimes)
285 Madison Avenue. (Courtesy of NYTimes)

285 Madison Avenue, the building that experienced a fatal elevator failure last year, has been sold.

Y&R, the prominent advertising agency and owners of the building, has decided to sell it to RFR Holding in a partnership with an unnamed real estate investment fund.

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Two two, RFR and the investment fund, will perform a $50 million capital improvement program that will include total infrastructure, common corridors, restroom and building system upgrades. The building remains empty as Y&R vacated the building.

“We are confident that after we perform a total building renovation, consistent with the RFR imprimatur, the building will attract a credit-worthy tenancy for long-term leases,” said Aby Rosen, principal of RFR. “This property, at the apex of global business and world-class restaurants, hotels and entertainment, is indeed an opportunistic acquisition and a perfect complement to our existing, esteemed Class A office portfolio.”

The building, standing at the corner of 40th Street and Madison Avenue, spans 513,000 square feet across 26 stories. The floor plates range from 11,000 square to 24,000 square feet with high ceilings and views of the the Empire State Building.

“We are delighted to have acquired a well-located asset such as 285 Madison, which can benefit from RFR’s long history of retrofitting office properties to their full potential,” Ms. Rosen further commented.

The elevator malfunction was a result of under-maintenance. At the time, the Buildings Department listed over a dozen violations on the building’s 13 elevators. Some even attribute “lousy construction” of older buildings in New York, highlighting 285 Madison Avenue’s age over as over 85 years old.