YIMBY attended the official opening ceremony of 425 Park Avenue, a 47-story commercial skyscraper in Midtown East and the first new full-block building to be built along Park Avenue’s Plaza District in nearly half a century. Designed by Norman Foster of Foster + Partners and developed by L&L Holding Company, Tokyu Land Corporation, and co-managing partner BentallGreenOak, the 897-foot-tall structure yields 667,000 square feet of column-free Class A office space with design flexibility and panoramic views up and down Park Avenue. Adamson Associates Architects was the architect of record, WSP was the structural and MEP engineer, R&R Scaffolding provided the BMU, and Tishman Construction was the construction manager for the project, which is located between East 55th and East 56th Streets.
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place outside the front doors, followed by a panel discussion on the 26th-floor Diagrid Club amenity space, and a tour of the 39th floor.
“425 Park Avenue celebrates its historic context and the restrained elegance of its landmark neighbours, while simultaneously pushing the boundaries of workplace design and reflecting the contemporary spirit of the city,” said Norman Foster, founder and executive chairman, Foster + Partners. “The building’s architectural form and structural expression are inextricably linked, providing it with a distinctive identity. The floors with external terraces are the first of their kind on Park Avenue, creating a permeable and healthy working environment.”
“From day one, we viewed 425 Park as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—and an awesome responsibility—to create a tower of enduring value that would stand proudly alongside the Plaza District’s architectural masterpieces,” said L&L chairman and CEO David W. Levinson. “Working with our assembled team of visionaries in the fields of architecture, engineering, hospitality, human wellness, and the arts, we have created the ultimate office environment in both form and function.”
“425 Park has been a labor of love nearly two decades in the making,” said Robert Lapidus, president and CIO of L&L. “From the outset of this project, we were laser-focused on creating an holistic experience that would attract, motivate, and excite the world’s most innovative and creative people. Those attributes, which were aspirational at the time, have become absolutely essential today.”
425 Park Avenue is divided into three main sections: the base, with a 45-foot-tall central lobby lined with stone flooring, interior glass walls, and state-of-the-art lighting and elevator systems; the middle tier of office floors; and the upper premium office levels that culminate with a 38-foot-tall penthouse floor. The property was built to LEED Gold standards and also earned Well Core certification at the Gold level due to the building’s full suite of health, wellness, and environmentally friendly features. These include abundant natural light, enhanced indoor air quality and water purification, and energy-efficient mechanical and ventilation systems.
The parapet is capped with three signature fins that illuminate with animated LED panels at nighttime.
In between the three tiers are two triple-height diagrid floors with the uppermost serving as The Diagrid Club, an amenity and wellness center.
The Diagrid Club features a number of outdoor gathering spaces, meditation rooms by the David Lynch Foundation, and a unique piece of artwork by world-renowned artist Yayoi Kusama: a wall of mirrored metallic spheres titled “Narcissus Garden.” Another contributor to the space is chef and restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, who will operate The Diagrid Club’s food and beverage program, as well as a bi-level restaurant at street level. This new dining location will feature a dramatic show kitchen and a cocktail lounge, 45-foot-high ceilings, and a 24-foot painting by Larry Poons.
The skyscraper is 85 percent leased to technology and investment firms such as Citadel, the anchor tenant, which will occupy 415,400 square feet across 20 floors, Wafra Capital Partners, Maverick Capital, Hellman & Friedman, and GTCR. The last available floors to rent are levels 28, 29, 32, 33, the northern half of the 34th floor, 39, 40, and 41. Each comes with 13,900 rentable square feet and 9.5-foot-high ceilings. Retail space is available on the southern corner of the base offering 7,743 rentable square feet. There is also private parking for tenants with a capacity of 52 cars via a lobby on East 55th Street.
“Together with our partners, we are proud to have fulfilled our shared vision of developing New York’s next iconic office tower with its awe-inspiring architecture, market-leading amenities, and technologically advanced environmental performance, located in one of the most important business districts for global commerce in the world,” said Jonathan Epstein, managing partner, BentallGreenOak. “Our tenants are among the preeminent leaders in their industries and they recognize that 425 Park Avenue’s location, design, and focus on the environment helps support their mission to attract top talent.”