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The GM Building Epitomizes NYC Class 'A' Office Space

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The GM Building

Formerly the site of the elegantly appointed art deco Savoy Plaza Hotel, the white vertically-striped General Motors Building sits at the south-east corner of the most famous park in the world, New York’s Central Park.  Directly west of the GM Building across 5th Avenue is Charlie Sheen's former romper room, the Plaza Hotel, and to the east runs Madison Avenue, a street that has long exuded money and power.

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The View

The sale of the GM Building was the largest single asset transaction in the world in 2008, estimated at $2.8 billion. Yes, billion with a ‘B’. Many people might wonder why the GM Building, which is certainly not the most stylish or modern in the city, would fetch such a whopping price. The reason is explained in Real Estate 101: location, location, location.

The GM Building was completed in 1968. At 50-stories and just over 700 feet tall, the massive tower is one of only a few office buildings in Manhattan that occupies an entire city block. The property consists of a central tower with north and south flanking wings containing approximately 1.7 million square feet of Class "A" office space and 150,000 square feet of prime retail space. You can be sure that office space rental rates in the building are among the highest in the city. The skycraper has an excellent tenant-retention rate that is well-above the market average.  Indeed, more than half of the tenants there today are original tenants from when the building first opened. The common areas are decked-out in the finest materials, such as Greek marble, brass trim, Vermont marble flooring and coffered ceilings.

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Apple Store

The elongated bay windows and angled white Georgia marble piers provide maximum natural light and tree-top Central Park views that are undoubtedly some of the most coveted in Manhattan, if not the world. The ground floor is home to FAO Schwarz's flagship toy store. Chances are you've see it - think Tom Hanks playing “Chopsticks” on a giant walking piano in the 1988 romcom Big. Smack in the middle of the plaza is “the Louvre of New York”, the Apple flagship store. A 32-foot glass cube crowns the cultural behemoth that lies below. Designed by Steve Jobs himself in conjunction with the architectural firm of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, the Apple cube is one of those ‘wow’ structures that stops people in their tracks and begs to be photographed. For some, riding the glass-enclosed elevator down into the store is a rite of passage into Apple heaven. For others, it’s a clamoring  zoo of gadget-junkie tourists, or in other words, Apple hell.

However, back when text messages were typed on a typewriter the GM Building’s ground floor retail space featured a showroom for the vehicles of General Motors. When the building first opened it’s doors many critics found it particularly vexing that an automobile showroom was occupying such a coveted location in the city. The loss of the Savoy Plaza Hotel with its upscale boutiques was an area of contention, but it seems that the corporate office tenants whose opinions pay the bills are thoroughly satisfied.  After all, Estée Lauder, IMG, Icahn Enterprises, the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges and many others have been there for quite some time, soaking up the billion dollar view.

Looking for office space in the GM Building? Check Current Availability: Office Space in GM Building

Mar 23, 2012

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