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The Emery, Roth & Sons-designed 747 Third Avenue was the first all-electric commercial building when it was built in 1972 and one of the first to introduce lobby artwork. Now 40 years later, it’s undergone a multi-million dollar renovation, and we stopped by to see the upgrades with Sage Realty’s Jonathan Iger—great-grandson of owner The William Kaufman Org’s namesake.
Sage Realty's Jonathan Iger
Jonathan shows us the exposed pipes behind the lobby desk—a nod to The William Kaufman Org’s original whimsical touches to the building. (Sage is a wholly owned WKO subsidary, and Travelers Insurance owns half of the building.) It was always important for the company to humanize its portfolio of buildings, Jonathan tells us, so came the idea of adding artwork to lobbies—and in 747, that meant exposing the building’s inner workings. Although lobby renovations have covered most of these up, it made sure to keep touches of what people remembered, like the pipes. (We think Super Mario Bros would approve.) The original house-like wooden porch that graced the front of the building has given way to a sleeker exterior. Overall, it’s about balancing modern tastes with history, he says.
747 Third Avenue
Here’s the front of the building now. WKO used a new commercial architect for the design—Mojo Stumer Architects. “We like to use experienced designers who do not have a footprint in the City yet,” Jonathan says. (In fact, WKO’s 767 Third was the first commercial design in Manhattan by Fox & Fowle, he tells us.) In the works: the plaza outside, going through the City Planning Commission this month. It will keep some elements, like wooden benches, but add features like more greenery. He expects the buildout to take about seven months. The building is also in talks with the NYC Food Truck Association to have a scheduled food truck parked in a private space on the 46th Street side of the building—a boon for trucks, which won’t have to deal with stringent public parking requirements. While you nosh down on your street gyro, you can use the plaza’s free public wi-fi.
Jonathan Iger with Sage?s Sara�DeGaetano and Veronica Rosmaninho
Jonathan with Sage’s Sara DeGaetano and Veronica Rosmaninho on the vacant second floor, which has a lease out. There’s 80k SF of availability in the building, including the retail space leased by Dress Barn on the ground floor, which also has paper trading. So far this year, it’s closed on 23k SF of new tenants, 3,300 SF in renewals, and 11k SF in expansions, including the two latest: Advanced ICU Care’s 3,600 SF lease and Group Gordon’s 3,900 SF lease. The new tenants will also see redesigned common corridors and bathrooms by firms Mojo Stumer and Montroy Andersen DeMarco. Jonathan says he’s seen a lot of foot traffic from tech and creative companies (the building is already home to German, Russian, and Canadian broadcasting companies, among others).