Empire State Building Adds Basketball Court, Lounge

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In the race to bring employees back to the office, even the Empire State Building has to up its game.

Owner Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) unveiled plans to add several new amenities to the building in 2023, including a basketball court, a lounge, food and bar service, and a golf simulator. The lounge and basketball court, which are connected, can be converted to a town hall-style meeting area for up to 400 people, thanks to bleachers that fold out onto the court. The court can be separated from the rest of the space by retractable glass garage doors, and projector screens can come down from the ceiling for meetings.

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ESRT plans to construct the amenities on a lower floor with double height ceilings.

The new lounge and meeting area will have a slightly industrial vibe, with exposed ductwork painted white, hanging white pendant lights, and warm wood paneling along some of the walls. There will be midcentury-inspired furniture — including tables, chairs and couches — as well as bar height tables and stools. The lounge area will also have telephone booths where workers can take private calls.

The 102-story, 2.2 million-square-foot Art Deco landmark already has a 15,000-square-foot fitness center, a tenant-only conference center, and seven food and beverage tenants on the ground floor. Starbucks is opening a 23,000-square-foot Reserve roastery and coffee shop in the building later this year, and existing tenants include Tacombi, State Grill and Bar, Chipotle, Chopt and Sushi-teria.

Besides the amenities, ESRT has retrofitted the building with energy efficient heating, cooling and lighting in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 54 percent. It has also tapped a new leasing team from Newmark to help fill 274,000 square feet of vacant space across eight floors.

“Every quality tenant can give its employees a unique, personalized experience at an unmatched value, from our more than 274,000-square-foot large block to pre-built spaces, for the building’s unrivaled amenities and offerings,” said Newmark’s Scott Klau, who is leading the leasing effort. “It is a true employee attraction and retention tool for today’s world.”