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There was plenty of buzz (but not of the Lightyear kind) last night on the roof of 200 Fifth Ave, formerly known as the International Toy Center. L&L Holding Co., the owner of the historic property, held a party to celebrate the building's 100th birthday and completion of a $135M renovation.
L&L CEO David Levinson and president Robert Lapidus
L&L CEO David Levinson and prez Robert Lapidus make the final renovation—to a spectacular cake, a building replica. The 14-month transformation was the largest private initiative of its kind to be carried out in the city. Its primary objective was to be able to extend the airy and open feeling of Madison Square Park (across the street) into and throughout the building. The Studios Architecture design team, with the help of engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti, replaced the entryway's heavy bronze curtain wall with one of the clearest surfaces available—a low-iron glass with an anti-reflective coating that has been used for ultra-visible store window displays. (The three separate panels weigh a whopping 5k lbs.)
Courtyard at 200 Fifth Avenue
Other renovations: the lobby's limestone-vaulted ceiling was restored with refurbished original metal light fixtures and period bulbs. Every vertical exterior surface—over 300k SF of limestone and terra cotta—was cleaned and restored, and over 1k bronze-clad window sashes were replaced with high-efficiency models, matching the originals. And a long-neglected and abandoned space beyond the lobby was turned into a richly landscaped outdoor courtyard for tenants, above. The makeover, which included new mechanical and electrical systems, and elevators, is expected to earn LEED Gold cert. The building has already won awards for the redesign, such as the AIA New York Chapter 2010 Architect Merit Award.
L&L director of leasing David Berkey
L&L director of leasing David Berkey with a City proclamation celebrating the building's achievements. The office tower will soon be home to Tiffany & Co., which recently inked a 260k SF corporate HQ lease; anchor tenant Grey Group already occupies 370k SF of space. Another tenant will be Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich's Eataly, a 44k SF Italian food and wine marketplace with various boutique eateries and shops, a rooftop mini brewery, and restaurant. Happy Birthday, 200 Fifth Ave, to infinity and beyond!