Leases  ·  Retail

Owners of Former Playboy Club Repositioning East 59th Street Building


The former Playboy Club, a Class B Plaza District building on East 59th Street off of Fifth Avenue, is being repositioned for one tenant to house retail and a showroom with offices above, Commercial Observer has learned.

GreenOak Real Estate and Capstone Equities are putting the nine-story, 40,000-square-foot 5 East 59th Street on the market as they work along with architect Gensler to convert it to an eight-story structure with 22-foot ceilings on the ground floor, Winick Realty Group’s Darrell Rubens told CO.

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Mr. Rubens declined to cite an asking rent, but a source said the building should lease for more than $10 million per year.

“This is an opportunity [for a tenant] to really design and create their own building here,” Mr. Rubens said.

The building owners tapped Mr. Rubens and colleagues Kelly Gedinsky and Lee Block, along with David Falk, Danny Levine and Jason Greenstein of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank to market the building.

A terrace at 5 East 59th Street with people rendered in.
A terrace at 5 East 59th Street with people rendered in.

Mr. Falk said this is a site for “an iconic brand who wants to be there and wants to be seen with all of these other upscale brands.” He noted that there will be a “lot of eyeballs” on the location and it allows a tenant to house its entire operation “under one roof.”

The owners bought the 1960 nine-story office building, which was renovated in 1984, for $85 million this June. At the time of the purchase, only a few small office tenants remained along with Italian restaurant Bottega del Vino, Mr. Rubens said.

As CO previously reported, after more than a decade in the building, Bottega del Vino will be shuttering on Dec. 31 after the building proprietors made a deal to buy out the remaining term of the lease. The eatery occupies 7,200 square feet on the ground level, lower level and basement.

East 59th Street has seen a bit of an exodus lately. Next door to Bottega del Vino was a Crate & Barrel, with an address of 650 Madison Avenue. It closed at the beginning of August, as CO previously reported. And Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn left a 35,000-square-foot three-story retail condominium at 127 East 59th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues after 15 years. Meanwhile, signage at the Crate & Barrel space indicates that Italian luxury goods house Bottega Veneta will be opening there this holiday season.