NEW YORK | 390 Madison | 373 FT | 32 FLOORS

L&L Holdings set to give gloomy 380 Madison Ave. a makeover

By Steve Cuozzo January 13, 2015 | 2:19am

Photo: NY Post: Joey Newfield

L&L Holding Co., which is transforming 425 Park Ave. with a well-received Norman Foster redesign, is launching a second, larger East Midtown metamorphosis.

By early 2017, gloomy 380 Madison Ave. will be reborn as 390 Madison — a tower bearing no resemblance to today’s Darth Vader-like hulk. Designed by KPF architects, it will be clad in reflective glass, taller and more slender at the top and largely reshaped to reallocate some of its lower-level space to new, upper floors.

On behalf of 380 Madison owner Clarion Partners, L&L is performing a feat that’s very difficult, but not impossible, under 1961 zoning rules — replacing an entire old building with one of the same size in terms of floor area. It won’t be a ground-up project, but an ingenious re-invention incorporating most of the original structure’s hidden bones.

Although 390 Madison will have just under 900,000 square feet — the same as at the empty current building — it will be unrecognizable as the same structure, as shown for the first time above. (By comparison, 425 Park Ave. has 650,000 square feet.)

In what might be the largest “re-massing” of a Manhattan building yet undertaken, the 291-foot tall, 24-story structure will grow to 373 feet in height and 32 stories. The highest portion will be set back and narrower than the current structure, affording better views.


L&L’s transformation will replace opaque glass and underlying brick with an all-glass curtain wall of transparent, floor-to-ceiling windows and glass spandrels to mark separation of floors.

Two entire floor slabs at lower levels comprising nearly 100,000 square feet, and portions of others, will be removed.

But the “lost” space will be reallocated to eight new floors to be constructed atop the existing 24.

The high floors will boast a 13.5-foot “slab to slab” height, the new standard at projects such as 11 Times Square and 4 World Trade Center. Removal of slabs below will open up the volume to allow for 14.5-foot floor-to-ceiling heights on certain lower floors.

The re-massing will also make room for large outdoor terraces on setback floors as well as high-ceilinged interior spaces suitable for tenant cafés and other amenities. The project is aiming for LEED gold certification. Some 15,000 square feet of retail will include 25-foot ceiling heights.

The project is confidently proceeding with no tenants pre-signed.


Remarkably, 390 Madison is to be built entirely as-of-right. It requires no public review, community board hearings, special permits, Landmarks Commission or Planning Department involvement or subsidies. It needs only Department of Buildings permits, many of which have already been issued.

The project exploits a rare loophole in 1961 zoning rules that forbade replacement of most East Midtown buildings of the time with ones of the same size. As at 425 Park Ave., L&L is tapping a little-used provision that allows a building to be redeveloped to the same size as the original — if at least 25 percent of the old structure is preserved.

That typically requires keeping some structural steel and has deterred other developers. But only 18 percent of 380 Madison will be dismantled, Levinson said.



New Look: 390 Madison Avenue


390 Madison Avenue, image from L&L Holding Co.

Earlier this month, Steve Cuozzo at the New York Post got the first scoop on plans to renovate and transform the aging office building at 380 Madison Avenue, in Midtown. Now, YIMBY has a full video of what’s in store for the site (on the southwest corner of Madison Avenue and 47th Street), which gives a look at both interiors and exteriors of the project.

The redevelopment will also see the building adopt a new official address, switching from 380 to 390 Madison Avenue. L&L Holding Co. is the developer, and the firm is also behind the transformation of 425 Park Avenue, just ten blocks to the north (and a nudge to the east). Both projects use the same loophole that allows redevelopment under the 1961 zoning code as long as a quarter or more of the original structure is maintained, despite the fact that the existing buildings are technically overbuilt under current zoning.

Kohn Pedersen Fox is the architect for 390 Madison Avenue, which will be much bulkier than its Foster-designed neighbor. Only 18 percent of the former 380 Madison Avenue will be dismantled in its refurbishment, though the building will see a significant height boost, rising from 24 stories and 291 feet to 32 stories and 373 feet.

390 Madison Avenue, image from L&L Holding Co.

As existing buildings in Midtown East age into obsolescence, projects like 390 Madison Avenue show just how premium even already-used air rights are, and why up-zoning the neighborhood to allow more office development (and ideally residential as well) is key.

Expanding supply and not just revamping existing stock is essential if Midtown East is to retain its competitive edge and remain New York City’s premier business district, and while plans for One Vanderbilt are a good start, the greater rezoning still awaits approval — which also gives an edge to projects already close to construction that do not require the re-zoning to move forward, like 425 Park and 390 Madison.

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Jan 22, 2016


A Midcentury Building Is Remade for Today
The structure at 390 Madison Ave. is getting a wholesale makeover and eight extra floors

Jan. 27, 2016 8:58 p.m. ET

A project under way at 390 Madison Ave. is taking a mid-20th century office building once shrouded in dark glass and turning it into a light-filled, 21st-century office building—only taller.

Sections of floors will be removed, creating the high ceilings that modern tenants desire, and a wraparound terrace will be built on the eighth floor. The square-footage removed from these lower floors will be added to the top—an eight-story…

Feb 18th

March 1st


April 22

Is it just me or is it the perspective, but isnt there already an extra floor?

I think you’re correct, Robert.

I believe that they’re adding 8 floors.

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Credit: urbanvsmodernism


Nice! I walked by today. There’s still no glass.

390 Madison


Thanks for posting this video for us, Vertical_Gotham!
Even though is not very tall, it’s still an impressive looking building.


Thanks, Dragon!

I agree, it’s a lot of building despite the lack of height. I’m excited about this one.


C&W are considering a big lease here.

June 15th


This building is going to be awesome!


I agree, JC!

This is a great redevelopment

Great update @JC_Heights! 383 Madison is magnificent, we rarely get to see it. :wink: