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Elevator Accident Building 285 Madison Is Being Reborn

An elevator accident at 285 Madison Avenue killed ad exec Suzanne Hart in late 2011; now developer Aby Rosen is trying to give the building a modern makeover. Though the renovation is still in progress?with an expected completion date of the first quarter of 2014?Rosen and his team are starting to show the building to prospective tenants, and the Journal hopped onto one of the tours. Rosen's task was a difficult one: the building has "suffered through decades of piecemeal renovations," as the Journal puts it, so bringing consistency to the whole mess is a challenge.

A few of the strategies Rosen's RFR Holdings has employed include highlighting some of the building's windows, shrinking the retail space, and redesigning the lobby so that it matches the stone carvings on the building's exterior. The floorplans will be opened up, erasing office layouts that have driven tenants away in the past, and features like air conditioning columns will be moved to allow for better use of the space. Of course, one goal of all this is to charge higher rents: Rosen tells the Journal he will ask around $68/square foot for the lower floors and $89/square foot for the higher floors.
?Building photo via PropertyShark.
· Artistic Eye Serves an Old Beauty [WSJ]
· 285 Madison Avenue coverage [Curbed]