Corsair Capital Snags 24K SF at 550 Madison

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Investment firm Corsair Capital signed a 23,919-square-foot lease at 550 Madison Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

Corsair signed a 15-year lease for space in Olayan Group’s 41-story building between East 55th and East 56th streets, according to the landlord, in a relocation from 717 Fifth Avenue. Olayan declined to provide the asking rent but hinted it was in line with the nearby One Vanderbilt, which commands $150 per square foot.

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After acquiring the building in 2016, Olayan Group launched a $300 million repositioning effort for the then-empty tower that wrapped in 2021. The building nabbed its first tenant in November with insurance firm Chubb taking 240,000 square feet across 10 floors.

Momentum has snowballed since, with French luxury designer Hermès taking 71,757 square feet across the entire 23rd, 24th and 25th floors for its new U.S. headquarters in February.

Erik Horvat, managing director of real estate for Olayan, told CO that the $300 million spent was worth it to keep one of New York City’s “youngest” landmarks — the 1984-built 550 Madison got its designation in 2018 — up to date with changing needs of tenants, especially following a global health crisis.

“How do you take a building that’s designed for single tenant occupancy and modernized it to compete against Hudson Yards, One Vanderbilt and the best buildings in the city?” Horvat said. “That’s what we undertook with our redevelopment.”

“We’re just seeing a tremendous amount of activity,” Horvat added. He said 550 Madison “meets the needs of the new tenant base and it’s an attractive workspace that will bring people back to the office. So that’s why it’s kind of flooded.” 

CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe, Howard Fiddle and Scott Gottlieb negotiated on behalf of Olayan Group, while Silvio Petriello and Chris Corrinet, also of CBRE, represented Corsair. Arkady Smolyansky, Ben Joseph and Alice Fair with CBRE also worked on the deal.

The brokerage did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The building at 550 Madison was originally designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in a Postmodern style. Olayan hired architects such as Snøhetta to design a new 21,000-square-foot public garden and make other improvements, such as making the building LEED Platinum certified.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.