New Look: 390 Madison Avenue

390 Madison Avenue390 Madison Avenue, image by Neoscape

Earlier this month, Steve Cuozzo at the New York Post got the first scoop on plans to renovate and transform the aging office building at 380 Madison Avenue, in Midtown. Now, YIMBY has a full video of what’s in store for the site (on the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and 47th Street), which gives a look at both interiors and exteriors of the project.

The redevelopment will also see the building adopt a new official address, switching from 380 to 390 Madison Avenue. L&L Holding Co. is the developer, and the firm is also behind the transformation of 425 Park Avenue, just ten blocks to the north (and a nudge to the east). Both projects use the same loophole that allows redevelopment under the 1961 zoning code as long as a quarter or more of the original structure is maintained, despite the fact that the existing buildings are technically overbuilt under current zoning.

Kohn Pedersen Fox is the architect for 390 Madison Avenue, which will be much bulkier than its Foster-designed neighbor. Only 18 percent of the former 380 Madison Avenue will be dismantled in its refurbishment, though the building will see a significant height boost, rising from 24 stories and 291 feet to 32 stories and 373 feet.

390 Madison Avenue

390 Madison Avenue, image by Neoscape

As existing buildings in Midtown East age into obsolescence, projects like 390 Madison Avenue show just how premium even already-used air rights are, and why up-zoning the neighborhood to allow more office development (and ideally residential as well) is key.

Expanding supply and not just revamping existing stock is essential if Midtown East is to retain its competitive edge and remain New York City’s premier business district, and while plans for One Vanderbilt are a good start, the greater rezoning still awaits approval — which also gives an edge to projects already close to construction that do not require the re-zoning to move forward, like 425 Park and 390 Madison.

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