Midtown Manhattan's iconic Lever House is one of several Plaza district buildings getting a high-dollar remodel in hopes of keeping it competitive with new buildings on the west side, but Lever House's facelift is probably the one most closely watched.
Built on Park Avenue in 1952, Lever House was the city's first glass building and is one of the most recognizable buildings in the area. Its unusual design, with a ground floor and open plaza, makes it an excellent example of International Style architecture and helps explain why it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
An Aging Icon
But, like many of the other once-grand, once in high demand buildings lining Park Avenue, Lever House has not been able to keep up with the amenities currently being offered to commercial tenants in new developments like 50 Hudson Yards, One Vanderbilt, or in the Freedom Tower. Especially in the post-pandemic world, businesses are finding that they must provide compelling reasons for their employees to come back into the office, and the Park Avenue spaces in Lever House and other buildings have struggled to meet that need.
As a result, Lever House's high-dollar upgrades will include amenities like 13,000 square feet of private outdoor terraces, new conference areas, high-speed elevators, an ultra-modern HVAC system, and a restaurant and lounge exclusively for tenants. Another amenity that will really set Lever House apart is a plan to renovate the ground floor outdoor space to appeal to people's growing desire to work outside when the weather permits.
Making Manhattan More Desirable
Lever House's renovations, as well as those happening in the Seagram Building and other buildings along Park Avenue, are all intended to make what was once Manhattan's most desirable business address attractive to businesses who are tempted to move into spaces in newer developments like Hudson Yards and Manhattan West, where the rents are now 43% higher than they are in the Plaza district.
Consult an Experienced NYC Real Estate Attorney
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