The Flatiron District's unique blend of historic charm, access to Parks, and fantastic shops, restaurants, and bars makes it a popular choice for companies looking to rent office space in NYC. Wedged between the bustling Union Square Park to the south and the revitalized Broadway corridor in Nomad to the north, the Flatiron District offers a refreshing alternative to traditional corporate office environments found in Midtown Manhattan.
The boundaries of the Flatiron District are a bit fluid, but they're generally thought of as falling between 20th Street, 26th Street, Park Avenue South, and Sixth Avenue. Just think of the Flatiron Building and draw a square around it.
The stretch of Broadway that runs through the Flatiron District is known as Silicon Alley, although no one ever calls it that. The name, a play on Silicon Valley, the epicenter of tech in California, was coined in the 1990s when office rents in the Flatiron District were cheap, and new dot-com companies were popping up left and right.
One of the primary considerations when searching for NYC office space is the commute. The shorter, the better. Fortunately, when you rent office space in the Flatiron District, you're choosing a neighborhood that is literally in the center of Manhattan, where public transportation is abundant. No matter where your office is located, it will be a quick stroll to a wide range of subway lines. The PATH train stops nearby on 23rd St; even Penn Station is walkable.
MADISON SQUARE PARK
Madison Square Park is the cultural center of the Flatiron District. It's the most popular gathering spot in the neighborhood; when the sun comes out, it's the place to be. You'll find office workers and local residents relaxing on park benches, taking in a coffee and a chat, enjoying an all-American burger-and-fries lunch at Shake Shack (the only restaurant in the park), or attempting to release their canine's puppy-energy in the recently upgraded dog run. There is usually a large-scale art installation, which, love it or hate it, invariably becomes a topic of conversation.
And shout out to King David Taco's, located in a bright yellow kiosk on the Broadway side of the park. They serve up delicious breakfast tacos all day long, or until they run out.
THE FLATIRON BUILDING
The namesake of the Flatiron District, the Flatiron Building, is a historic NYC landmark located at the intersections of Broadway, Fifth Avenue, and 23rd Street. These three streets combine to create this triangular-shaped building shaped like a giant iron. The building opened in 1902 as a commercial office building, and remained so, until the publisher, Macmillan, vacated in 2019. At the time, the building was co-owned by several real estate partners. Numerous media outlets reported that one of the partners refused to invest in the necessary updates to modernize the building and make it marketable to new tenants. Long story short: A court ordered an auction of the building, which failed the first time due to a non-paying winner. Ultimately, GFP, one of the previous owners, won the building at the following auction and soon announced a redevelopment plan to convert the building into residential. Little has been reported since then, but the assumption is that the Flatiron Building will eventually become upscale condominiums.
ONE MADISON AVENUE
The most significant change to the skyline in the Flatiron District over the past decade is the expansion of the Metlife Building on the east side of Madison Square Park (the building with the giant clock tower). The original tower will remain the Edition Hotel. However, on the eastern wing, an ambitious new office project led by Vorando called One Madison Avenue is underway. (One Madison Avenue is not to be confused with the residential building directly across 23rd Street -- once home to an all-star New England Patriots quarterback and his supermodel now ex-wife -- called One Madison).
To put it simply, the original mid-century office building was gutted, the interior rebuilt, the exterior windows expanded, and a giant glass tower erected over the existing structure. The new design honors the building's original architecture on the lower floors and looks to the future with the state-of-the-art addition above. The new glass tower will add 13 stories of Class A office space in the Flatiron District, an enormous gym operated by Chelsea Piers Fitness, and a penthouse restaurant from famed Chef Daniel Boulud. The leasing team has secured IBM as the anchor tenant, as well as two notable investment firms.