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Marx Realty unveils Leonard Lounge at repositioned 545 Madison

Marx Realty, a New York-based owner, developer and manager of office, retail, and multifamily properties across the United States, completed the Leonard Lounge, an indoor/outdoor lounge space on the 8th floor of the recently repositioned 545 Madison. The 7,000-square-foot lounge includes a café, a 2,000-square-foot landscaped terrace and a 40-seat boardroom. A success story on many levels, the Leonard Lounge completes the $24 million hospitality-infused repositioning at the Plaza District tower in Manhattan.

“Our vision for the Leonard Lounge was always to design something unique and memorable,” said Craig Deitelzweig, president and CEO of Marx Realty. “We’ve created a truly inviting sensory experience that has been key to maintaining and attracting new tenants. It’s the embodiment of our signature hospitality-infused approach across our portfolio.”

The new Leonard Lounge at 545 Madison is reminiscent of a members-only club and is named in honor of Leonard Marx, the founder of Marx Realty. The developer incorporated elements of Leonard’s personality into the design – it’s a bit bold, ahead-of-its-time and forward-thinking — features that are represented in the thoughtful details that make up the space.

The crown jewel of the new space is a ceiling-suspended fireplace surrounded by intimate velvet seating, providing a rare ambiance not often found in an office setting. The bar seating overlooks the landscaped outdoor terrace while a 40-seat boardroom opens up to the entire space through an accordion-glass wall system, providing comfortable meeting options for tenants and guests alike. Warm walnut wood and bronze finishes, along with Marx Realty’s signature scent, punctuate the hotel-like experience while a café with built-in appliances provides tenants the ability to host catered events. The lounge was designed to provide a bespoke option to work in a space outside of the traditional office setting by day or a place to unwind in a cozy nook with an evening cocktail.

“Leasing velocity and overall tenant retention and satisfaction has proven our hospitality-rich repositioning strategy to be incredibly successful,” said Mr. Deitelzweig. “The top-to-bottom reimagining of 545 Madison provides an experience that elevates tenant’s brands, attracts top talent and supports employee retention.”

Marx Realty has pioneered the hospitality aesthetic in the office sector and is leading a design revolution. Tara Stacom, leasing agent for the building, notes that there is no doubt Craig Deitelzweig is the Ian Schrager of office. And, the Leonard Lounge takes the hospitality-rich office experience to the next level.

The company’s hospitality-meets-office style goes beyond small material changes, essentially creating a home-away-from-home experience in office spaces, a strategy that has set a new benchmark and embraces a distinct flight-to-quality underway in the office sector.

The Leonard Lounge is the final phase of what has been a top-to-bottom overhaul of the 545 Madison experience. The sensory journey starts at the entrance; the front of the building has been completely transformed, including a uniformed doorman at the entry while the redesigned lobby features warm materials and soft curves, sophisticated mood music and soothing lighting. The well-appointed lobby also includes a well-stocked library, creating an ambiance reminiscent of the world’s finest hotel lobbies.

Marx Realty’s repositioning strategy goes beyond physical space and into complementary tech services. The company’s proprietary Marx Connect software interface has been implemented to facilitate access to the building and enable tenants to make catering requests as well as chat with Marx’s management team, register guests seamlessly, and book conference rooms, including the Leonard Lounge’s boardroom.

After taking control of the 140,000-square-foot, 18-story office tower, in 2019, Marx Realty has taken building occupancy from 68 percent (and in danger of approaching 40 percent) to 100 percent leased, a true success story in an otherwise complex post-pandemic market. Asking rents for the last few available spaces ranged from $84 to $101 per square foot – up from prior asking rents ranging from $60 to $70 per square foot. The top penthouse floor availability next year is asking $130 per square foot.

Financial software and applications developer Strike Technologies was the first to sign at 545 Madison soon after Marx took over and presented its plans for the building. Other notable tenants include private equity firms Snow Phipps and Kohlberg, Vialto Partners (a spinoff of Price Waterhouse Coopers), Qurate Retail Group (formerly HSN), Ogden Capital, Corniche Growth Advisors, as well as additional top-tier wealth management and private equity firms.

A Cushman & Wakefield team led by Tara Stacom has represented Marx Realty during the leasing process. David Burns and Kristin Kaiser of Studios Architecture worked with Marx Realty’s in-house design team to reimagine the lobby and amenity spaces at 545 Madison.

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