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Thread: Flatiron Building - 175 Fifth Avenue @ Broadway - by Daniel Burnham

  1. #16

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    So what was the world's tallest in 1902?

  2. #17

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    The Park Row Building, followed by Singer in 1908.

  3. #18
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Book Publisher Finds Room to Grow in Flatiron Building


    By RACHELLE GARBARINE
    Published: June 30, 2004




    Holtzbrinck Publishers will expand to 18 floors in the Flatiron Building.


    For more than 100 years, the massive limestone and terra-cotta wedge that is Manhattan's famed Flatiron Building has been known for its singular shape and its prime location at the intersection of Broadway, Fifth Avenue and 23rd Street.

    Now the three-sided 20-story building, which once housed a crop of small companies, may well become associated with its main tenant. Last week, Holtzbrinck Publishers - the parent of St. Martin's Press and Henry Holt, among others - closed a deal to expand to 18 floors from 12 in the 180,000-square-foot structure. The company, whose existing lease expires this year, also has the option to take the remaining two floors over the next five years.

    "Over time, it will be their own building," said Leon Manoff, who with Robert L. Freedman, a colleague at the real estate firm GVA Williams, represented Holtzbrinck in the deal. The lease, Mr. Manoff said, took six months to complete and will enable the company to grow to 157,500 square feet from 84,000. Holtzbrinck is part of Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, a family-owned publishing operation based in Stuttgart, Germany.

    For the landlord, the lease indicates that "even in a market that is not robust, the best buildings get the best tenants," said James D. Kuhn. Mr. Kuhn, Barry Gosin and Jeffrey R. Gural acquired 71 percent ownership in the Flatiron Building in two transactions in 1997 and 2004. The three men are also principals of Newmark & Company, a real estate services firm in Manhattan that manages the 307-foot-high building. Though dwarfed by the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, the structure is considered one of New York's most revered early skyscrapers. It opened in 1902 and was declared a city landmark in 1966.

    "There is a certain stature to being in a landmark," Peter G. Garabedian, chief operating officer at Holtzbrinck, said of his company's decision to expand in the Flatiron Building. He said the action was also "an economic" move since Holtzbrinck has a significant presence in the building.

    Holtzbrinck will consolidate several of its Manhattan operations, including Henry Holt, now on 18th Street, in the Flatiron Building. St. Martin's Press, the trade publisher, has been in the building since 1959. "This lease perpetuates the link between the firm and the building," Mr. Manoff said.

    Holtzbrinck will take over the six floors recently vacated by Springer-Verlag, a publisher of medical and scientific books, whose lease expired this year. All involved in the deal said that Holtzbrinck would probably exercise its option to lease the remaining space on the building's seventh and eighth floors, now occupied by several small companies whose leases will expire within five years.

    Mr. Kuhn said that in today's market, having a single creditworthy tenant like Holtzbrinck made sense. He also said that he and his partners have considered the possibility of eventually turning the building into a residential condominium, which would be more feasible if there were only a single tenant.

    Under the new 15-year lease, Holtzbrinck's annual rent will start in the low $30's a square foot and increase to the mid-$30's over the term of the lease, GVA Williams said. The rent under the expiring lease is the low $20's. The average rent in the Flatiron District is $29 a square foot, Newmark said.

    There are no renewal options built into the lease, which Mr. Kuhn said was worth at least $70 million.

    The building is in a neighborhood that underwent significant gentrification in the 1990's, becoming a district for fashion and upscale restaurants. Today, it has clothing stores like A/X Armani Exchange at 129 Fifth Avenue between 19th and 20th Streets; Searle at 156 Fifth Avenue between 20th and 21st Streets; and, most recently, LF Sportswear at 150 Fifth Avenue. The 9,000 square feet of ground-level retail space at the Flatiron Building is occupied by Estée Lauder and Sprint.

    The neighborhood has also been enhanced by the $5 million reconstruction of the six-acre Madison Square Park, completed in 2001.

    Those improvements, commercial brokers said, have helped the area's office market. The vacancy rate in the Flatiron District has dropped to 13.5 percent, from 18.1 percent a year earlier. The current rate is slightly above the rate for Manhattan over all, 13.2 percent, Newmark said.

    As part of the Holtzbrinck deal, the building will be technologically updated. In recent years, its infamous water-powered elevators were replaced with electric ones.

    Mr. Garabedian of Holtzbrinck said the building's shape offered abundant natural light that would be valued by editors. Though he conceded that his company might have been able to find less expensive office space, none could match "the quality of space and cachet" that came with the Flatiron Building.

    The Holtzbrinck deal comes on the heels of a lease by Rodale, a publishing company based in Emmaus, Pa., which this month expanded its operations at 733 Third Avenue at 46th Street. The company, which publishes Men's Health and Prevention magazines as well as books, including "The South Beach Diet," took an additional 64,000 square feet, for a total of 113,699 square feet, to meet its growth needs, said CB Richard Ellis, which represented Rodale in the deal.


    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  4. #19

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    Flatiron designed by Chicago architect Daniel H. Burnham, height is said to be 285ft, and was completed in 1902. Flatiron was once the tallest building in the world.

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    It wasn't, and it's stated in posts on this page...

  6. #21

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    Nice photos Zippy! All the little details that used to go into buildings....

    It's interesting how that squat little building behind it is still there too.

  7. #22

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    Oh it wasn't the tallest building. I would of sworn I read it at Skyscraper Museum.

  8. #23
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Now that this company wants to take alot of space in such a landmark building, they should do something to clean it. It needs its original white beauty back.

  9. #24

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    [quote="matt3303"]Nice photos Zippy! All the little details that used to go into buildings....

    Yes. And there's no reason why we should permanently and universally dispense with them! The cost of production is negligible. Installation and maintenance of the facade would be somewhat more expensive.

    And legions of architects clad in austere black have lovingly preserved the basic rules that define elegant proportions and tasteful decoration. Oops.

  10. #25

    Default Flatiron Building May 15

    Two views taken from in front of the Worth Memorial. Image on the left is a normal view. Right image was taken with the lens raised and shows proper perspective. Lighting varies due to cloud conditions.


  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie
    Two views taken from in front of the Worth Memorial. Image on the left is a normal view. Right image was taken with the lens raised and shows proper perspective. Lighting varies due to cloud conditions.
    Can you believe, I can look at this pair of pictures and see one stereo image! Like when you look at those magic 3D pictures. Weird, I can see a volume and depth of both streets! I adore this building!

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  13. #28

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    The Flatiron Building had a role in Spiderman 2 with a sign running down the prow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    The Flatiron Building had a role in Spiderman 2 with a sign running down the prow.
    The first movie too, don't forget.

  15. #30
    Senior Member Bob's Avatar
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    Lucky me. And lucky others, too, who discovered that "old" doesn't necessarily mean "ugly" or "bad." In fact, often the reverse is true, as evidenced here by the Flatiron Building.

    I think I know why so many of our oldest buildings across the country became despised and ultimately torn down. They were allowed to become ugly. As maintenance was deferred, these typically stone-clad structures became dark with decades of pollution, rain, and soot. The original stone colors disappeared. Then, windows wouldn't be cleaned. They too developed decades of built-up gunk. Result: these old buildings looked bad and were considered ripe for destruction. Obvious case in point is the overly-discussed (yeah, I know, I'm not helping matters here) Pennsylvania Station. Take a look at the sorry shape of that building in 1962. It was filthy, drafty, and dangerous. Some of us saw through all of it to reveal the beauty beneath, but most didn't and that's one of the main reasons it is gone.

    So, I agree with those who say the Flatiron needs a steambath. Clean up this treasure so that it can be enjoyed for decades to come.

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