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Hermès Moving Its U.S. Headquarters To Madison Avenue

Hermès new HQ at 550 Madison Ave.

Luxury French design house Hermès is moving its headquarters to 72K SF at Midtown’s Chippendale building. 

Hermès has signed a lease to occupy floors 23, 24 and 25 at 550 Madison Ave., the former Sony building owned by Olayan Group, a Saudi Arabiana investment firm headquartered in Liechtenstein. 

Hermès is the building’s second big lease agreement over the past four months, demonstrating a vote of confidence in Manhattan’s rebound as the pandemic eases. The Parisian firm will move from its current space at 55 East 59th St. 

The design house is following in the footsteps of global insurance firm Chubb, which signed one of the biggest leases of 2021 in November when it agreed to take on 240K SF over 10 floors at 550 Madison. Rents were not disclosed at the time, but are believed to be more than $100 per SF.

The 37-story Chippendale building was designed by Philip Johnson and John Burgee in the late 1970s. It opened in 1984, bringing a new wave in office architecture along with its pink granite exterior, Bloomberg CityLab previously reported. It was originally owned by AT&T, then the telecom giant leased the whole building to Sony in 1991 after being sued by the federal government, according to 550 Madison Ave.’s website.

Sony bought the building in 2002, before selling it to the Chetrit Group in 2013 for $1.3B, The Wall Street Journal reported. Chetrit had planned to convert the building into luxury condos along with Clipper Equity, but it unexpectedly decided to sell the building in 2016 to a partnership of Olayan and London's Chelsfield Group. 

The 800K SF 550 Madison secured landmark building status in 2018, making it the city’s youngest landmark. Last year, it received the New York Landmarks Conservancy’s Chairman’s Award for Olayan’s preservation efforts, and it is now a LEED and WELL Gold certified multi-tenant space. The Olayan Group spent approximately $330M on the building’s transformation after buying it for roughly $1.4B, The New York Times reported.