Earlier this month, 6sqft revealed renderings of 601 Lexington Avenue‘s (the Midtown East skyscraper formerly known as the Citicorp Center) new “Market Building,” comprised of an interior atrium to hold dining/retail space and a new outdoor plaza and terraces. Though the LPC landmarked the building this past December, the Architect’s Newspaper has learned of a loophole in the designation regarding the privately owned public space, which could mean that amid the renovation, the sunken plaza and cascading fountain designed by Hideo Sasaki‘s firm–one of the iconic landscape architect’s few remaining works–may be demolished.
The Midtown East skyscraper formerly known as the Citicorp Center, now called simply 601 Lexington Avenue, was made an official city landmark this past December, thanks to distinctive features including its 45-degree angular roof and base of four columns that resemble stilts. When designed by Hugh A. Stubbins & Associates in 1978, the site also included a privately owned public space with a connection to the Lexington Avenue-53rd Street subway station, which co-owner Boston Properties is now looking to update. They’ve tapped the designers at Gensler to envision a 200,000-square-foot “Market Building,” which will consist of a new outdoor plaza and terraces, as well as an interior atrium space that will host trendy dining and retail options.
Park Avenue has for decades been the office district of choice for many of the city’s high-profile–and high-rent–corporations. But a recent Crain’s article points to impending departures–such as the decision of investment firm Black Rock to decamp for new space in Hudson Yards or the World Trade Center, raising the question of whether the avenue’s biggest office zone, from East 45th to East 59th streets, is falling out of favor with big-ticket business tenants.
The city’s office market is, without a doubt, changing. Industries like tech are growing and the financial industry is consolidating and in some cases downsizing its office space. The neighborhood, which charges the city’s highest average rents, has been slow to catch up with the needs of new office tenants.