Rendering of 550 Madison Avenue, via DBOX/ Snøhetta
Over the last few years, plans to refurbish the former headquarters of AT&T and Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue have come and gone, including a proposal to convert the upper floors into luxury condos designed by Robert A.M. Stern. Now, with those plans long abandoned, Olayan America and Chelsfield revealed plans on Monday for a $300 million renovation of the tower, modernizing the lower levels of the building with high-quality amenities and a sprawling 21,000-square-foot public garden. With Snøhetta as lead architect, the renovation will be the first major project in East Midtown since its revitalization plan was approved earlier this year.
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In a very unexpected twist, The Real Deal has learned that the Chetrit Group is selling the Sony Building, scrapping its flashy plans to convert the office building’s upper floors to luxury condos designed by none other than Robert A.M. Stern. Olayan America, a division of the Saudi conglomerate Olayan Group, is in contract to purchase 550 Madison Avenue, partnering with European and Asian asset manager Chelsfield. According to the Post, they’ll pay between $1.4 and $1.5 billion, a profit of at least $300 million for Chetrit. In a statement, Olayan said they’ll lease space to “high-quality commercial tenants.”
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550 Madison rendering via Dbox
Curbed spotted the freshly launched teaser site for the Chetrit Group’s Sony Tower conversion, now going by the name 550 Madison, which revealed several new details about the project. The most notable is that Robert A.M. Stern will be designing the “opulent” condos, and we assume this includes the $150 million triplex penthouse. Interestingly, Stern was once a student of Philip Johnson, who is responsible for the ground-breaking Sony Building. In all, there will be 113 condo units on floors 21-43, up from the previously reported 96, as well as a 170-key luxury Parisian hotel and high-end ground-floor retail.
More details this way
While it seems like every block in the city is host to a construction site throwing up some luxury condo building or pricey rentals, not all of these developments are created equal. Following up on their last infographic which rounded up the city’s top five most expensive new developments, the data gurus over at CityRealty have culled an even more extensive list which pinpoints the 12 priciest structures going up right now. While the number of zeros that follow their combined $20,000,000,000 sellout will make your head hurt, what’s even more mind-boggling is that these 12 buildings alone will count for nearly HALF of the money that’ll be generated by the 200+ condo projects underway in Manhattan.
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It’s definitely been a big number game at Chetrit‘s Sony Building conversion–from the 96 luxury condos they’ll add to floors 14 to 33 of the 37-story tower, to the planned $1.8 billion sellout, to the $150 million triplex penthouse, which, if sold, would be both the city’s priciest unit in history (if not eclipsed by the $175 million unit at 220 Central Park South) as well as the largest at 21,504 square feet. And now the Post reports that Chetrit is going to up the ante at 550 Madison Avenue by turning part of the commercial space on the lower floors into a luxury Parisian hotel.
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It’s projected that over the next five years, new development sales in Manhattan condos will total $27.6-$33.6+ billion, but this sky-high figure is heavily skewed by prices in just five buildings. These luxury towers will account for one-third of the total projection. Three of the buildings — 432 Park, 220 Central Park South, and 550 Madison Avenue (the former Sony Building) — are located on billionaires’ row and are expected to bring in a whopping $8 billion. The Greenwich Lane and 10 Madison Square West will also likely bring in close to $1.5 billion each. Along with this boost from the upper end of the market comes a trend where fewer units are selling, but prices are shooting up.
More info and CityRealty’s full infographic here
Those who found themselves gobsmacked when news broke that the Sony building’s penthouse would be priced at $150 million, look out, here’s another jaw-dropping fact headed your way. TRD has reported that not only will the unit be the priciest in history if sold, but when complete, it will also hold the title of the city’s largest.
At 21,504 square feet, the triplex trumps the competition; TRD reports that the two runners-up include a 16,270-square-foot pad at 3 East 95th Street, which sold in 2006 for $21.9 million, and a 13,063-square-foot condo at The Plaza Hotel, which sold in 2007 for just over $50 million. The city’s most expensive sale recorded thus far—the $100 million penthouse at One57—measures a comparatively mere 10,923 square feet. The penthouse at the Phillip Johnson-designed building will boast eight bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, 10 powder rooms, a billiard room, two media rooms, a library/bar, wine room, gym and spa.
There’s a new priciest listing record in town, and it goes to the $150 million triplex penthouse at the Chetrit Group’s Sony Building condo conversion, according to The Real Deal. The 21,504-square-foot unit will occupy floors 33 through 35 of the 37-story tower at 550 Madison Avenue and have a private elevator, eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, and ten powder rooms. If it gets what it’s asking for, it will break the record for the current highest condo sale, the $100 million penthouse that sold at One57 last month.
Check out the impressive Sony Tower floorplans here
Back in June, we learned that the Chetrit Group was planning to partially convert the Philip Johnson-designed Sony Tower at 550 Madison Avenue to high-end condos. And it has now been revealed that the 96 condo units will amount to a jaw-dropping $1.8 billion sellout, according to plans the developer filed with the Attorney General’s office. By comparison, the initial total sellout at One57 was $2 billion, and at 432 Park Avenue it was $2.4 billion.
More on the luxury conversion
The Philip Johnson-designed Sony Tower at 550 Madison Avenue, one of the most notable postmodern office towers in New York City, is set to be partially converted to high-end condos, as states planes filed by developer Chetrit Group. It’s not known which of the building’s 37 floors the residential units will occupy, but Chetrit, led by Joseph Chetrit, has said in the past that it will convert the upper floors and either keep the lower floors as offices or turn them into a luxury hotel.
Construction likely won’t begin for at least one to two years since Sony still leases office space. When the developer purchased the building from Sony in 2013 for $1.1 billion at auction, Sony committed to remaining in the offices for around three years until moving to a new space near Madison Square. Chetrit outbid 21 rivals and paid $685 million more for the building than Sony did in 2002.
Find out more about the development here