Durst Organization Installs Video-Enabled Windows at 825 Third Avenue

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When Advance Media decided in the spring of 2019 to leave its longtime offices at 825 Third Avenue in Midtown East, the Durst Organization knew it had to give the 1969 Emery Roth-designed office tower a major overhaul — with a little pizzazz.

The $150 million renovation updates nearly every aspect of the building, including the facade, lobby, amenity spaces, mechanicals and elevators. However, one of the big selling points is the installation of special windows that can play videos and be used for video conferencing or presentations, just like a typical screen or projector.

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And, even without the video-enabled windows — which cost about $50,000 per window panel — building tenants on the 12th through 40th floors can take advantage of windows that automatically tint based on the amount of sunlight. The windows, which are manufactured by a company called View, can also be adjusted via a smartphone app.

Despite the cost, the video-enabled windows are “still flying off the shelves,” said Brian Klansky, who oversees View’s East Coast operations. He noted that the company was also installing them at Google’s new offices at St. John’s Terminal, which is, so far, the only other building to use the technology. “If a tenant wants to add this in three years, they can, because it’s all enabled by the network that’s in the windows. So, you don’t really have to worry about making a decision now.”

Klansky added that View had also developed air quality sensors that collect real-time data on carbon dioxide, humidity and other air quality factors. While the sensors do not affect the HVAC system in the building, landlords have increasingly embraced adding real-time air quality data to their buildings during the pandemic in an effort to make tenants more comfortable in their offices.

Asking rents at 825 Third, which will be complete in the summer of 2022, range from $78 to $98 a square foot.

Elsewhere in the building, improvements include a new lobby with white stone walls and terrazzo marble floors, a 3,000-square-foot lounge on the ground floor with a coffee and wine bar and arcade games, a 15,000-square-foot amenity space on the second floor with conference rooms and a fitness center, a new 12th-floor terrace, and new mechanical systems for the elevators and the heating and cooling systems. The facade and the ground-floor storefronts have also been renovated to give the building a less-dated look.

“It used to be sort of like stainless, a grayish sort of blackish color, and we cleaned it and primed it, and made everything black,” explained Durst commercial leasing chief Tom Bow. “So, when you look at the building outside, relative to other facades, it looks brand-new and it’s very striking. It’s been cleaned and painted, so that you’re not looking at something that’s 40 years old.”

Update: The building’s last tenant was Advance Media, which subleased space from Random House. This post has also been updated to reflect the fact that the View windows come pre-installed on the building’s upper floors.