SL Green Realty Corp. has owned the property since 2012. New York’s largest office landlord, SL Green will lead the plan to redevelop with the Armani Group the four-level, 16,000-square-foot store into a 96,000-square-foot building that will house a flagship and 19 luxury Armani/Casa residences.
The retail space will encompass the first two floors of the project. The designer said, “In terms of size, the Giorgio Armani boutique will be similar to the existing one, but it will feature more functional sales floors and a more fluid and contemporary style. The main feature of the project is that the building become multifunctional.”
The new building is scheduled to break ground in 2020 and is expected to be finished by 2023.
Madison Avenue has struggled with declining rents and high vacancies since the 2008 recession. Leasing activity picked up in the fall with Balenciaga opening a store at 610-620 Madison Avenue in the spring, Celine unveiling a store at 650 Madison Avenue and Sergio Rossi recently signing a long-term lease at 680 Madison Avenue.
“New York is one of the world’s major fashion capitals, and Madison Avenue is by definition an iconic luxury location. In the Eighties, when I opened my first Giorgio Armani boutique in Manhattan, I chose this exclusive and refined area because it was ideal for the eternal contemporary elegance and attention to detail I wanted to communicate,” Armani said, referring to his original store at 815 Madison Avenue. “This special project is the continuation of the journey I began over 10 years ago with my Armani/Casa Interior Design Studio, which I use to look for innovative, creative solutions that express my concept of luxury and refinement while respecting the local culture and spirit of a place.
“New York is a city I’m particularly fond of,” said Armani, who will take up residence in the building once it’s completed. “As the epitome of luxury, Madison Avenue perfectly lends itself to a project of this scale. Today, more than 30 years later, I still believe that this place reflects my philosophy and my aesthetic vision. That’s why I wanted to propose such an innovative project through which I can fully express my idea of dressing and living.”
New York architecture firm Cookfox, the architect for the project, will redesign the new building to reflect the Armani brand’s evolution within the context of its location in the Upper East Side Historic District. Armani will conceive the residential interiors with his pared-down elegance evident throughout the building.