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Empire State Building: A NYC Landmark and Prized Office Building

May 7, 2023

The Empire State Building

From its construction during the Great Depression to its present-day status as a landmark Class 'A' NYC office building, the Empire State Building has ushered countless people through its doors and captivated millions more with its distinct crown in the night sky.

Designed by the architectural firm of Shreve, Lamb & Harmon and completed in 1931, the Empire State Building showcases an Art Deco style, which became popular during the 1930s. The building's distinctive setbacks and tiered profile give it a sleek and elegant appearance that has stood the test of time.

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The Empire State Building contains nearly 3M square feet

Sustainability and Modernization

In recent years, the Empire State Building has undergone significant modernization efforts to enhance its energy efficiency and reduce its carbon footprint. The building has implemented various green initiatives, such as installing energy-efficient windows and lighting systems and modernizing the heating and cooling systems. These advancements confirm the ownership's commitment not only to environmental responsibility but also to sustaining the building's appeal into a new era. 

Office Space

Working in the Empire State Building is a quintessential New York experience. You can feel the history as you enter the building. Sometimes, I half expect Sam Spade might brush past in a fedora with a cigarette pursed between his lips.

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Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon

The Art Deco murals in the lobby showcase the spirit of the industrial age with gears, beams, and other symbols of construction and engineering. The double-height marble walls give the space heft and permanence. The floor complements the aesthetic with intricate geometric designs. There are myriad elevators with ornate brass panels and stylized shapes, giving riders a sense of history and an era of bygone craftsmanship.

The Empire State Building towers above its neighbors, as most office buildings surrounding it are no more than 20 stories. As a result, offices in the Empire State Building offer exceptional views and abundant natural light. However, supertall residential towers in Nomad are springing up in Nomad, just south of the ESB, creating a bit of obstruction and controversy along the way. 

Pre-Built Office Space

The building offers a variety of office layouts to suit any business. And if they don't have what you need, they'll build it or alter an existing design. Most pre-built suites include everything you'd expect from a Class' A' NYC office building:

  • Glass-fronted windowed offices
  • Conference rooms
  • Open, well-lit workspaces
  • Modern kitchens with sinks and dishwashers
  • Exposed or acoustic-tiled ceilings
  • Central airconditioning
  • Furniture available
  • And did we mention the views!
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A floor plan of office space in the Empire State Building

Who is renting office space in the Empire State Building?

The Empire State Building has always been especially popular among law firms and insurance companies; however, these days, just about every industry is represented in its nearly 3M square feet of office space. Businesses that rent office space in the Empire State Building include architecture and engineering firms, fashion companies and textile suppliers, banks and finance companies, appraisers and real estate firms, and even an airline and a Department of Tourism. 

The most well-known tenant at the Empire State Building is the business-focused social media platform LinkedIn, which is headquartered in the building and occupies over half a million square feet. Several other well-known web-based companies lease office space in the Empire State Building. Shutterstock, the web content provider with a library of millions of stock photos, and Expedia, the travel website, rent office space in the building. 

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Modern office space in the Empire State Building

Tenant Amenities in the Empire State Building

The ESB is an amenity-rich building, with most amenities concentrated on the lower level. One thing that sets the building apart is the gym. Sure, some other NYC office buildings have a gym, but the gym at the Empire State Building might be the largest of them all. 

You'll have many ways to increase your heart rate and build muscle, as there are dozens of exercise bikes, treadmills, and strength training machines. After an intense workout, head to the locker room and shower up—you'll be fresh as a daisy when you return to the office after a mid-day workout. What better way to blow off steam? 

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The gym and locker room at the Empire State Building

Another unique amenity is a private dining room operated by the STATE Bar and Grill. Restaurants in NYC are often hectic, loud, and full of distractions. The private dining room removes all that, so you can have your team's full attention while discussing important business matters over lunch or dinner without eavesdroppers or sensory overload of a crowded dining room.

basketball court is the newest addition to the amenity center at the Empire State Building—that’s right, a basketball court. Shooting hoops with your colleagues would be an excellent team-building exercise. Who has the stones to steal the ball from the CEO? The basketball court is a versatile space designed to double as a town hall where you can bring together large groups for presentations and meetings.

But wait, there's more! What is the sport most associated with business? Yes, golf. The newest building amenity at the Empire State Building is an 18-hole golf course. Just kidding, but there is a golf simulator where you can perfect your game while playing dozens of courses from around the world. 

Other fringe benefits of renting office space at the Empire State Building include the wealth of dining options in its retail storefronts.

  1. On the corner of Fifth Avenue and 34th Street is a Starbucks Reserve. Everyone knows Starbucks, but Starbucks Reserve offers a more upscale experience than the standard coffee shop. Starbucks says it's "an immersive discovery of craft coffee, food and cocktails, carefully curated shopping and more." The thing you should remember is that this location has a subterranean cocktail bar where baristas become mixologists as they whip up Espressotinis and other coffee cocktails. 

  2. Tenants have direct access to Tacombi, a tasty taco bar on the 33rd St side of the Empire State Building. When you take a seat, you'll see that the menu is a checklist that includes their offerings. You can't go wrong by marking the Baja Crispy Fish, the Al Pastor, and the Beef Birria tacos.

  3. But you can't eat tacos every day (says my doctor), so substitute a salad into the mix every few weeks. A few doors down from Tacombi is the fast-casual salad eatery Chop't, offering a variety of salads, bowls, and wraps. If you wanted to eat lunch at Tacombi but were dragged to Chop't by a health-conscious coworker, give the Mexican Chicken Ceaser or the Santa Fe Salad a whirl. 

  4. A few doors down, you'll find Juice Press, specializing in organic cold-press juices and smoothies of every description. Imagine hitting the gym on your lunch break, showering off, and grabbing juice or a smoothie before heading back to your office. You'll have a "summer bod" before you know it.  

  5. We mentioned the STATE Bar and Grill above for its private dining room, which is accessible through the lower level of the Empire Estate Building. This upscale American bistro offers a fine dining experience with white tablecloths, an extensive wine list, and an impeccable menu. The reviews are exceptional: Isha on Google said, "I went here for a work event and I have to say the food and service were fabulous." 

In addition to the dining options at the Empire State Building, there is a conveniently-located Walgreens drugstore on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 33rd St, as well as a FedEx for all your shipping needs just a few doors down.

Getting To The Office

Transportation Links

Fifth Avenue is Manhattan's Mississippi River, the dividing line between East and West. If you walk east of Fifth Avenue, you'll find the East blocks (East 34th Street, East 23rd Street, East 14th Street, etc.); West of Fifth Avenue, you'll find the West blocks (West 34th Street, West 23rd Street, West 14th Street, etc.). 

The address of the Empire State Building is 350 Fifth Avenue. It's located on the west side of Fifth Avenue between 33rd and 34th Streets. 

Google Maps says the Empire State Building is a 9-minute walk to Penn Station, although a gainfully employed New Yorker would walk it 6 or 7 minutes. And they say it's a 15-minute walk to Grand Central Terminal—again, more like 12 minutes.

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Regarding the subway options, the Green Line (6 train) is very close, so getting to the Upper East Side, Grand Central, or downtown is a snap. If you were to transfer across the platform to the 4 or 5 trains, you'd be at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn before you know it. 

If you walk west from the Empire State Building, you'll hit Herald Square at 34th Street and Sixth Ave, literally a 3-4 minute walk. Herald Square is one of Manhattan's major subway hubs. Here, you'll find express and local trains traveling to the Upper West Side, Midtown, Soho, Financial District, Queens, and Brooklyn. 

If that's not enough, the PATH train terminates at Herald Square, making the commute from Hoboken or Jersey City a breeze. If you'd prefer to ride a bike, there is a Citi Bike dock across Fifth Avenue from the Empire State Building on East 33rd Street.

A NYC Destination

The World-Famous Observatory

The observatory at the Empire State Building is a prime destination for tourists. I won't bore you talking about the views—they're amazing—but what you might like to know as a tenant leasing office space in the Empire State Building is that the observatory has a dedicated entrance on 34th Street. This means you'll never see a group of tourists futzing around the lobby snapping pictures while you're focused on getting to the office for an important meeting. 

But while we're on the topic of the observation deck—made famous by a scene from An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr, and made famous for a new generation in Sleepless in Seattle with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, and made famous yet again for another generation in Gossip Girl with Leighton Meester—the deck is a substantial income producer for the building. 

It's estimated that more than 4 million visitors ascend to the top every year. Entry currently costs between $44-$79 per person, depending on which floor you choose. 

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Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet at the Observatory at the Empire State Building in Sleepless In Seattle

Not to be outdone by the NY Marathon, the building hosts the annual Empire State Building Run-Up every fall. Several hundred runners race up the building's 1,576 stairs to the observatory on the 86th floor. Put that on your bucket list and feel the burn! 

Office Sublets in the Empire State Building

In a massive office building like the Empire State Building, there are always a few available offices for sublease. There are often shared office spaces with attorneys and stand-alone private suites. Reach out and we'll provide a list of current office availability.