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Marx signs Snow Phipps in move to become office world’s soul proprietor

Marx Realty (MNPP) is set to welcome private equity firm Snow Phipps to 545 Madison, the 18-story Plaza District tower where Marx is attempting to give office space a soul with a top-to-tail feel-good renovation.

Snow Phipps has agreed to a seven-year lease of 10,000 s/f on the 10th floor as Marx Realty completes the first phase of its hospitality-infused renovation that features everything from fireplaces and cocktail lounges to a uniformed doorman and a signature scent flowing through the buildings air ducts.

The asking rent was $89 per square foot. Snow Phipps is relocating its employees from 667 Madison following a restructuring at the company.

Craig Deitelzweig, president and CEO of Marx Realty, said Snow Phipps is the first new tenant at 545 Madison to sign on since the start of the renovation, and he is negotiating three other “significant” leases.

“Marx Realty’s signature hospitality style goes far beyond slapping some stone on a wall or adding some new artwork and the team at Snow Phipps immediately recognized the value of providing a warm and welcoming space for employees,” said Craig Deitelzweig, president and CEO of Marx Realty.

“We are leading a design revolution in the office sector and it’s about much more than just ‘repositioning’ a building. It’s about answering the demand for office spaces that are truly special and inspiring, providing space with a soul.

“Job creators in the finance, media and technology sectors understand the need to bring employees back to a beautiful space and our first-of-its-kind hospitality-meets-office aesthetic will continue to increase in relevance.”

The renovation at 545 Madison – which includes a new lobby, library, seating areas and pre-built office suite and will ultimately boast a 7,000 s/f indoor/outdoor club space on the 8th floor – began in earnest during the height of a global pandemic.

Marx Realty moved quickly to reimagine the lobby and entry façade, moving the entrance to 55th Street and creating a sophisticated and contemporary experience reminiscent of a boutique hotel, complete with uniformed doorman, a variety of seating options and a library create all infused with Marx’ signature scent and mood music for a complete “sensory experience”.

Plans for the new 7,000 s/f club floor branded the Leonard Lounge at 545 Madison include a lounge space, ceiling suspended fireplace, bar seating, a landscaped terrace and an oversized boardroom. There will be a café with built-in appliances, a 2,000 s/f terrace and cocktails will be served in the evening at the Leonard Lounge.

Marx Realty’s proprietary Marx Connect software interface will be implemented to minimize physical interaction as the doorman and lobby personnel work in tandem to reduce the need for tenants and visitors to come in contact with surfaces as well as providing an easy flow into the building. Mechanical upgrades, such as a bipolar ionization system, are also part of the plan to attract and retain tenants in a post-pandemic office world.

David Burns and Kristin Kaiser of Studios Architecture are the architects working with Marx in-house design team on the redesign of the lobby and creation of the amenity spaces. OTJ Architects created the pre-built suites on the 3rd and 14th floors.

After a similar renovation at of its 10 Grand Central office tower, Deitelzweig said the firm saw an almost overnight increase in occupancy and asking rents and now the entire office portfolio is being redone in a way that pays homage to each asset’s design and location, including assets in DC [The Herald] and Atlanta [The Department Building].

CRAIG DEITELZWEIG

“Marx Realty pioneered the hospitality aesthetic in the office sector to make our tenants and their employees feel like they are walking into a luxury hotel,” continued Deitelzweig. “It’s a complete sensory experience unlike any other.

“As firms bring employees back to the office, it is ultimately the finer points of the spaces that will set us apart from the competition. The flight to quality is nothing new and it’s worth noting that every broker and potential tenant who walks through our doors is awestruck by the sensory experience we are delivering.”

Evan Margolin of Studley represented Snow Phipps in the new lease. Marx Realty brokers are Tara Stacom, Harry Blair, Peter Trivelas, and Remy Lieberman of Cushman & wakefield.

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