GM enthusiasts may already be familiar with the automaker’s headquarters at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, which is sometimes referred to as “The GM Building” by visitors. But the real “GM Building” happens to be in the New York City.
Located at 767 Fifth Avenue, the 50-story, 705-foot (215 meter) office tower faces Fifth Avenue at 59th street. It’s one of the only structures in Manhattan to occupy a full city block, and offers nearly 1,774,000 rentable square fleet on 84,350 square feet of land. Formerly the site of the Savoy-Plaza Hotel, the building was architected by Edward Durell Stone & Associates in partnership with Emery Roth & Sons; construction started in 1964 and was completed in 1968, and the building originally contained a showroom of GM vehicles on its street-level lobby, which is now occupied by the flagship toy store of FAO Schwarz.
Unfortunately, The General sold the tower for roughly $500 million in 1982 amid financial difficulties, but kept some employees there. Since that time, GM’s presence in the building named after itself has continued to decline, with the structure having become a preferred location of hedge funds and financial firms who pay over $100 per square foot for their spaces. Most recently, the building’s newest most famous tenant became Apple, opening an Apple Store in the retail space of the building’s plaza. Other prominent tenants of the General Motors Building in the NYC include the Estée Lauder Companies, international sports, entertainment & media giant IMG, the hedge fund York Capital Management, the holding company Icahn Enterprises, and the law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges.
For its part, General Motors is reported to have seven years remaining on its lease for the three floors it currently utilizes in the building, paying in the vicinity of $95 per square foot. In 2008, the automaker signed a 10-year contract to lease a 135,000 square foot space at 153 E. 53rd Street, between Third and Lexington avenues to relocate its operation.
Ironically, the tower continues to bear the automaker’s name, even though its contractual naming rights for the properly expired in 2010. However, current owner (Boston Properties) continues to call it the GM Building.
Ever visited the “original” GM Building? Tell us about your experience in the comments, below.
Photo Credit: Flickr user micurs.