Ho-Hum: Just Another Unfinished Floor for Lease? Not When We’re Done with It.

Brokers show empty, unfinished commercial space to potential tenants every day. Nothing unusual there. But the broker team representing Equity Office for 5 Bryant Park (formerly 1065 Avenue of the Americas) had a different plan when it came to showing and marketing the 9th floor of this trophy office building. So they hired us.

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Exterior, 5 Bryant Park, Manhattan. Courtesy: NY Post Brian Zak

5 Bryant Park is located on the corner of 40th Street and Sixth Avenue. The 34-story office tower has approximately 680,000 SF of office space and features a variety of floor plates ranging from 34,000 to 7,500 SF. The building offers impressive views of Bryant Park to the east and a newly renovated public plaza to the north.

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Spectacular view from the 9th floor at 5 Bryant Park, overlooking the park

The 9th floor at 5 Bryant Park was, frankly, a bit dismal. The space was completely empty, with poor lighting, unfinished concrete floors, exposed raw columns, and plain white walls. Yet the space has tremendous potential: with 27,391 rsf available, and a large open-space floorplan, it would be ideal for creative and TAMI businesses. The broker team wanted to stage this space in a unique, energetic and creative way, to generate interest in the broker community and among potential tenants. Simply put, they wanted to create excitement in the space that would make it attractive to TAMI or other creative tenants looking for space with an open work area, including a potential lounge area, kitchen, and possibly even a game area. At the same time, the team wanted to highlight the building’s prime Bryant Park location and visually acknowledge two of its premier neighbors: the park itself and the New York Public Library.

To accomplish this, they hired us to stage the space, to create a unique work, play, and eat environment. At Pace, we have a venerable track record of over six decades of innovation in developing branding and marketing campaigns for commercial and residential development and brokerage clients – with substantial experience creating marketing and sales environments.

Our challenge:

Revitalize a large, empty, unfinished, poorly lit floor to make it appealing to potential tenants, enabling them to envision the possibilities if they were to lease the space.

Our solution:

We began by transforming the elevator space leading to the 9th floor, adding a large historic picture of Bryant Park with a back-lit metal #5 (for 5 Bryant Park) hung in front of the photo. Two other historic pictures were hung by the elevator doors.

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Inside the space, we covered the boring white walls with a faux-wood wallpaper to create a warm, earthy and inviting ambience. We designed a large graffiti image to bring some “edge” to the space. Six large plexiglass images of floorplans were hung from wires, providing a visually appealing and modern, almost interactive approach to displaying floorplans. Then, one large wall was designed with an image of the widely publicized historic mosaic tile artwork that was uncovered during renovations outside the entrance to the 5 Bryant Park building.

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To create a sense of movement and a sort of literary path that leads visitors through the space to the large windows at the back of the space that overlook Bryant Park, we gathered a collection of quotes about New York City from well-known city celebrities and personalities – and painted them on the floor. This walkway of quotes is intentionally reminiscent of Library Way, the sidewalk along East 41st Street that leads to the New York Public Library’s main building on Fifth Avenue, one of 5 Bryant Park’s most well-known neighbors, where visitors can read a collection of inspirational quotes that are built into the sidewalk.

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Continuing with the reference to the building’s proximity to Bryant Park, we filled many of the empty, unfinished steel columns on the 9th floor with books, harkening to the Library itself as well as its outdoor “reading room” in Bryant Park. This was an imaginative re-purposing of cold interior structures (columns) that could have been merely obtrusive and unsightly, to instead help create a warmer, more artistic ambience.

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Finally, at the end of the “pathway of quotes” and at the back of the space, on the east side of the building overlooking Bryant Park, we created and set up a very interesting and comfortable seating area where potential tenants could sit and talk with brokers, while relaxing and enjoying the view. This space was designed with a chandelier, oriental rugs, leather chairs, a drum set, a Prisma guitar, and a refrigerator – with the intention of creating a fun, warm, inviting space that could feel like a modern work environment, to help potential tenants imagine the possibilities for their own firm in this exceptional space.

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Kudos to the team from Equity for their innovative thinking, which led us to develop this creative staging / marketing environment: Equity Office’s Zach Freeman, Vice President, Leasing; and Newmark Grubb Knight Frank’s Brent Ozarowski, Senior Director; Josh Gosin, Vice President; Alex Radmin; Brian Waterman, Vice Chairman and Principal; and Lance Korman, Executive Managing Director.

Got a challenge marketing some space? Let us put our creative vision and team to work. We can bring a truly unique stamp to your space.

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