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Deals & Dealmakers

RFR Realty closes on full floor leases at 285 and 350 Madison Avenue

RFR Realty announced two new full floor leases at 285 and 350 Madison Avenue, two newly repositioned office towers near Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park.

Janklow & Nesbit Associates, a literary agency, has signed a lease for 14,875 s/f at 285 Madison Avenue, a space encompassing a full tower floor.

The agency, which was founded in 1977 by attorney Morton Janklow, is relocating from 445 Park Avenue.

Janklow & Nesbit Associates roster of writers has included Danielle Steel, Malcolm Gladwell, Carole Radziwill, Gwyneth Paltrow and William F. Buckley, Jr.

Paul Amrich and Neil King of CBRE represented the tenant in the 11-year lease.

Recent retail deals at 285 Madison Avenue are expected to bolster the building’s transformation, adding additional amenities for tenants and the surrounding neighborhood as a whole.

The Benjamin Group — behind the Benjamin Steakhouse and Sea Fire Grill concepts — signed a 16-year lease for 9,020 s/f for a Benjamin’s Steakhouse.

And London-based coffee purveyor Taylor Street Baristas will occupy 1,040 s/f of space adjacent to the restaurant as well as a portion of the mezzanine.

The building was acquired by RFR and GreenOak vacant in 2012 and has been transformed through a $65 million comprehensive gut renovation and design upgrade. The owners have created a collaborative community environment by providing amenities such as a private tenant lounge, event space, fitness center complete with showers and men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, and a bike storage area.

A rotating art program will also be in place at the building which currently features works by Peter Dayton, Enoc Perez, and Tom Friedman.

285 Madison Avenue also provides a landscaped roof terrace with lounge seating as well as an adjacent indoor multipurpose collaboration space with tables and selected art.

At 350 Madison Avenue, marketing strategy and communications firm HL Group — a member of MDC Partners, a network of forward-thinking agencies — took an entire floor in a new 13,115 s/f lease.

Frederick Fackelmayer of CBRE represented the tenant. HL Group was founded in 2001 by Hamilton South and Lynn Tesoro, and is relocating and expanding from 853 Broadway.

RFR’s renovation of 350 Madison Avenue included the redesign of the building’s two-story, sky-lit lobby. It includes new creative interior landscaping, a rotating art program currently exhibiting paintings by David Salle and prints by Andy Warhol, and a coffee bar and convenience stand as additional amenities.

The exterior has a new two-story storefront and entry canopy.

Recent leasing activity there includes  Bank Leumi USA, which signed for 58,548 s/f; Braemar Energy and Beacon Light Capital, both of which signed for 7,178 s/f; and Certares Management Corp., which signed for 8,304 s/f in the 25-story tower.

In both transactions, the landlord was represented in these leases by Mitch Konsker and Alexander Chudnoff leading a team from JLL, which represents RFR’s New York office portfolio. RFR senior vice president and director of leasing AJ Camhi also represented the landlord in-house.

Konsker commented, “The activity we’ve seen at both these buildings since RFR completely reimagined them speaks to tenants’ desire to match a sought-after location with an array of exceptional on-site amenities.

“Janklow & Nesbit Associates and HL Group reinforce this by choosing to relocate to them and we’re happy to welcome each as tenants to the buildings.”

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