685 Fifth Avenue’s Mandarin Oriental Conversion and Expansion Now Underway, in Midtown

685 Fifth Avenue. Rendering via Marin Architects685 Fifth Avenue. Rendering via Marin Architects

Work is underway to prepare 685 Fifth Avenue for a 100,000-square-foot office-to-condominium conversion. The first batch of scaffolding has been assembled on the northern profile of the address, and a green scaffold board runs along the top of the retail section. The 20-story building will eventually be a 30-story building, with ten additional floors to be built atop the current roof parapet. The residential component will comprise 69 condos, to be managed by Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. SHVO is the property developer and has partnered with BLG Holdings and Deutsche Financial to spend $135 million on the expansion and conversion of the property, which will stand 350 feet tall and rise 30 stories when complete. Marin was the architect of record and the design architect, with March & White handling the interior design. Brookfield Properties is in charge of marketing the Fifth Avenue retail space.

The Midtown site is located at the southern corner of Fifth Avenue and East 54th Street. The nearly 90-year-old structure currently contains Coach, Stuart Weitzman, and Tag Heuer stores on its lower levels. They should likely stay open during the entire upper transformation and construction process. Photos below show the state of work.

Looking at the scaffolding board atop the Coach retail frontage. Photo by Michael Young

Looking up the northern corner of 685 Fifth Avenue. Photo by Michael Young

The western profile of the retail frontage. Photo by Michael Young

The scaffolding along East 54th Street. Photo by Michael Young

In addition to the condominiums, there will be four duplexes. Units will begin from the sixth floor, and a lounge and rooftop pool will sit on the 25th floor.

Completion of 685 Fifth Avenue’s conversion is expected by sometime in 2021.

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3 Comments on "685 Fifth Avenue’s Mandarin Oriental Conversion and Expansion Now Underway, in Midtown"

  1. David in Bushwick | September 24, 2019 at 9:39 am | Reply

    Wow, the addition couldn’t be better. This is how you keep historical buildings and improve them for new uses. Tearing them down just requires more resources, more pollution and more NY identity loss.

  2. Don’t mess this one up. Please.

  3. Damned Architect | September 25, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Reply

    Whats funny is that the building has already been expanded, it was literally doubled in size about 10-15 years ago! The Orginal building was just from the corner and 25 feet down Fifth Avenue, spanning only 3 windows. The expansion made it 7 windows wide.

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