Demolition has begun on 665 Fifth Avenue, where Rolex is replacing its former 12-story International Style headquarters with a modern 21-story tower in Midtown. Designed by David Chipperfield Architects and developed by Rolex Realty Company LLC, the new building will feature office space and retail frontage. Howard I. Shapiro & Associates filed permits last summer for the project, which is located on an 11,050-square-foot parcel at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and East 53rd Street.
Recent photographs show metal scaffolding and black netting covering much of the northern side and beginning to wrap around the main western profile. The windows on this elevation are in the process of being removed and replaced with plywood boards. Based on the state of progress, the structure could begin having its floors removed by the latter half of the year. St. John and Lindt have already vacated their retail space and the first level is now obscured by sidewalk scaffolding.
Renderings depict a series of stacked rectangular volumes with a pleated façade of uniform floor-to-ceiling glass panels. Staggered setbacks make way for several outdoor terraces, and the lower levels will feature a multi-story podium with soaring ceiling. Its height appears to be identical with the podium of 660 Fifth Avenue directly to the west of the building.
A Rolex store will take up the northern corner of the ground floor, and a separate entrance to the tower will sit to the south. A pair of escalators will bring occupants to a grand three-story atrium beginning on the second level.
665 Fifth Avenue sits directly across from the 5th Avenue-53rd Street subway station, serviced by the E and M trains. Also within walking distance is the Rockefeller Center station, serviced by the B, D, and F trains.
A completion date for the new structure has not been announced yet.