Occupancy, Rents Creeping Higher at LEED-CS Gold 545 Madison Avenue

After two recent deals, the gut-renovated, 17-story, LEED for Core and Shell Gold 545 Madison Avenue is approaching a 70 percent occupancy rate and attracting prime financial services tenants to the Plaza District.

We’ve written about LCOR’s gut-renovated, LEED for Core and Shell Gold-certified 545 Madison Avenue quite a few times here at gbNYC. Back in January, we noted when the tower’s occupancy rate hit 50 percent after 4 deals with financial services tenants that topped a total of 30,000 square feet.

Two recent deals have pushed occupancy past that critical threshold. Late last month, Marina del Rey, California-based alternative investment advisory firm Cliffwater signed a 10-year, 9000-square-foot lease for the 17-story tower’s entire seventh floor. The deal is distinct from most of 545 Madison’s prior leases – including those earlier this year – which were for pre-built spaces, though asking rents have remained steady around $70 per square foot.

In addition to the Cliffwater deal, LCOR also signed a 5-year lease for 5000 square feet with yacht manufacturer Universal Maritime, Inc. These leases bring total occupancy in the 142,000-square-foot, 17-story tower to 60 percent; according to LCOR, two more deals are in the pipeline that will boost occupancy to 70 percent.

LCOR reopened 545 Madison in 2008 aiming for 17 or fewer boutique financial services and law firm tenants. Although the great recession forced LCOR to drop its asking rents into the mid-$60s per square foot, the 2011 commercial real estate market has allowed LCOR to return to its initial strategy for positioning the building.

545 Madison Stacking Plan

545 Madison Avenue was the 27th LEED Gold certification awarded by USGBC here in New York City. The gut renovation of the original building – which dated from 1956 – was executed by Lend Lease and designed by New York City-based Moed de Armas & Shannon Architects. The project stripped the tower down to its structural frame and installed a new floor-to-ceiling glass curtain wall and high-performance HVAC, electrical, and mechanical systems.

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