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Deals & Dealmakers

Steakhouse, coffee shop join 285 Madison roster

RFR Realty announced two new retail leases at 285 Madison Avenue, which just completed a $65 million renovation.

The two leases were sourced and negotiated in-house on RFR’s behalf by Jordan Claffey, vice president and director of retail leasing at RFR Retail.

The Benjamin Group — behind the Benjamin Steakhouse and Sea Fire Grill concepts — signed a 16-year lease for 9,020s/f, which encompasses a portion of the ground floor, mezzanine and basement, at the 530,000 s/f property.

The Benjamin Group was represented by Dean Valentino at ABS Partners Real Estate.

Additionally, London-based coffee purveyor Taylor Street Baristas will occupy 1,040 square feet of space adjacent to the restaurant as well as a portion of the mezzanine in a deal negotiated by Fritz Kemerling and Joe Mastromonaco of the Dartmouth Company.

The retail space at 285 Madison
The retail space at 285 Madison

Founded in 2006 by Australian siblings and inspired by Melbourne café culture, Taylor Street will bring its ultra-premium coffee retail concept to the United States for the first time with this location.

Claffey commented, “The restaurant concept and coffee house will provide attractive and unique options for both the building’s tenants and the neighborhood. Madison Avenue between 38th and 42nd Streets has experienced a transformation in the last six months with several major retail lease signings. This is a very desirable place to work given its proximity to Grand Central Station, Bryant Park and numerous subway lines.”

Zuma, the London-based Japanese restaurant, opened along this stretch in early 2015. Other recent signings, such as Gregory’s Coffee and DryBar, also speak to the area’s ascendance. They join well liked, quick casual restaurants such as Dig Inn Seasonal Market and Pret à Manger among others.

“Preliminary plans for the restaurant, which will have direct access to the lobby and ground level amenity space, include a full service restaurant serving at minimum two meals a day, as well as private dining, catering and delivery for tenant meetings and events,” Claffey continued.

“We are delighted to welcome Taylor Street Baristas and The Benjamin Group to the building. They are both excellent operators.”

Three small retail spaces remain available at 285 Madison Avenue, north of the lobby. These total 5,085 square feet plus a portion of the mezzanine.

285 Madison Avenue was acquired by RFR and GreenOak in 2012 as a vacant property and repositioned to attract firms looking for a healthy and inspiring work experience. The Benjamin Group and Taylor Street Baristas complement the many other amenities offered in the building such as: a roof and multiple office terraces; a fitness center with showers; bicycle storage room; a tenant lounge; and world class art programs.

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