By REBECCA BAIRD-REMBA | Commercial Observer
When Silverstein Properties realized its anchor tenant at 529 Fifth Avenue in Midtown would be leaving next year, the landlord decided to add some upscale amenities and design to attract tenants to the 1950s office tower by Grand Central.
So it hired Architecture Plus Information to design a hospitality-inspired lobby and a new amenity space on the ninth floor. The 4,500-square-foot amenity floor will have a lounge for quiet work, tables and chairs for meetings, and a fitness studio with a changing room and shower. A 500-square-foot terrace will include seating and greenery for workers to enjoy the outdoors.
There will also be an on-site concierge in the lobby that manages the amenity area—known as The Willow—and helps building tenants organize events there. The updated lobby will have a midcentury modern vibe, with a plant wall, soft lounge chairs in muted grays and greens, and gold-accented furniture and fixtures.
“We want to try and create that boutique hotel experience in the building,” said Silverstein executive vice president Lisa Bevacqua. “The amenity space and the storefronts will make the building extremely attractive to all the talent focused on having a great experience while in their offices.”
The lobby, she said, would “incorporate some elements of wellness,” similar to the amenity floor.
Silverstein also plans to reconfigure about 12,600 square feet of ground floor retail space currently occupied by Best Buy on Fifth Avenue and East 44th Street. The retailer’s lease will be up at the end of 2021, and renovations will begin once it closes.
The $15 to $20 million revamp was inspired by the planned departure of accounting firm Citrin Cooperman, which occupies 130,000 square feet in the 283,000-square-foot, 20-story building. The firm signed a lease for 110,000 square feet at 50 Rockefeller Plaza last year, as Commercial Observer reported. The company plans to move out in September 2021, and work will begin a few days after it vacates its space, which includes the ninth floor.