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GioFX Apr 28, 2008 9:25 AM

Really a magnificent lightning! Sorry I didn't take photos but its always a pleasure to walk by the King on the Fifth!

JManc May 4, 2008 11:58 PM

my favorite building.

10101000 May 13, 2008 5:12 PM

Yeah me too, never been.

America 117 May 14, 2008 11:49 PM

all i can say is
the empire state building must be the most iconic building in the world!
also ive always loved how the empire state building has a tower on top of it!

ethereal_reality May 15, 2008 12:17 AM

In response to 'Fastdupree's post #140

This heretical idea is from the 1970s.

It's just SO wrong.

CoolCzech May 15, 2008 12:48 AM

^Christ Almighty, but did the ESB, NYC, and the World miss a bullet when those proposals died an extremely deserved death?

Huh. What do ya expect, from the Decade of Polyester Leisure Suits, Disco Balls, and Whip Inflation Now buttons?

NYguy May 15, 2008 7:46 AM


Originally Posted by CoolCzech (Post 3553167)
^Christ Almighty, but did the ESB, NYC, and the World miss a bullet when those proposals died an extremely deserved death?

Yes. They probably would have been fine had they been origianlly built that way, but the Empire State we know and love is what we have today.

NYguy May 16, 2008 1:01 PM

Empire State Building Split for Subway Series

May 15, 2008

The Empire State Building will continue its tradition of equally supporting the Mets and Yankees (and whole-heartedly supporting Big City Rivalry) as the two teams enter the Subway Series.

Beginning on Friday, May 16, the north/south sides of the building will be lit in Yankees blue and white, while its east/west sides will be lit in Mets blue and orange. The team who wins the series will have its colors displayed on all four sides of the tower on Monday, May 19.

That's a lot of added pressure! James Connors, General Manager for the Empire State Building, said: “The lighting also gives the players an extra boost -- at the end of the ‘Subway Series,’ the winning team claims the entire crown of New York City’s greatest building.”

Last year the series was split, each team winning two games at home; this year is the last at both current stadiums.

Fun fact: in 1932, a searchlight beacon alerting people for 50 miles that Franklin D. Roosevelt had been elected president of the United States was the first light to shine on top of the Empire State Building. It wasn't until 1977 that the wider range of colors was added, and blue and white lights flashed to announce the Yankees won the World Series.

philvia May 16, 2008 4:09 PM

i love the ESB's lighting and how they change it for these random events :D

Sandy May 16, 2008 7:55 PM

Photos from my last trip, 3 weeks ago:

And a 360° pano from the terrace :yes:

America 117 May 17, 2008 4:42 AM

are they really adding on to it!
i would love to see that!!

NYguy May 17, 2008 11:24 AM


Originally Posted by Sandy (Post 3557276)
And a 360° pano from the terrace :yes:

Simply amazing...

Dac150 May 17, 2008 1:29 PM

^^Yes that was nice to see. It gives you the full understanding on how massive Manhattan is.

America 117 May 17, 2008 1:29 PM

theres no other skyline like it:yes:
it will always be number 1 in my book

Swede May 17, 2008 6:13 PM

Guys, I love the ESB and its views as much as the next guy, but this is the New York City Projects & Constructions forum. There is a photography section of SSP... so let's keep this thread on-topic about the renovation. Not much point to the thread if you have to dig through pages of photos to get to info about the renovation.

No more off-topicness, ya hear?

CoolCzech May 18, 2008 12:41 AM

Iconic Empire State Building seeks $660-million loan
Needed to lure bigger tenants

Miles Weiss, Bloomberg
Published: Monday, May 05, 2008

Developer Peter Malkin is seeking to finance a US$660-million renovation of the Empire State Building to lure large firms to New York City's tallest skyscraper, a haven for small businesses for decades.

Wien & Malkin LLC, a New York-based real estate company, is asking investors in Empire State Building Associates LLC to approve borrowing to pay for modernizing the iconic 1930s office tower.

The project will exponentially increase the building's current debt - a US$61-million first mortgage - at a time when many lenders are reluctant to finance commercial real estate projects. Raising the financing shouldn't be a problem, industry analysts said, as the total borrowings would still be less than half of the building's value, estimated at more than US$2-billion.

"When you get a trophy property like that with a very low loan-to-value ratio, there would be a lot of lenders that would be comfortable" providing the cash, said Cedrik Lachance, a senior analyst at Green Street Advisors, a Newport Beach, California, firm that provides research on real estate investment trusts. "A building like that would be worth dramatically in excess" of the total borrowings.

The new loan would leave the property with debt ranging from US$660-million to almost US$825-million, according to Bloomberg calculations based on documents filed April 24th with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and interviews with real estate analysts.

Hard Times

The building, though famous, had fallen on hard times in recent years, in part because of poor management and in part because it was in a section of midtown Manhattan that was a less desirable market for office space, said Robert Sammons, research director at Colliers ABR Inc., a New York-based real estate broker. Now the area is more in demand.

"It just hasn't been on the radar screen for most tenants," Sammons said. Now "that whole area of midtown south has a strong appeal to a number of tenants because it is a mixed use neighborhood" with shops and residential buildings as well as offices.

Thomas Keltner, general counsel at Wien & Malkin, declined to comment. Peter Malkin, the firm's chairman, also heads the Associates partnership, which controls the building until 2076.

Malkin is improving the Empire State building's infrastructure and amenities, creating larger office spaces, and raising rents as part of a new leasing strategy for the landmark, located at 350 Fifth Ave., between 33rd and 34th streets in Manhattan. The goal is to bring in larger, more creditworthy tenants to the 102-story building, which was occupied by almost 700 businesses and firms at the end of 2006, according to SEC filings.

'Small Tenant Building'

"Historically, this was known as a small tenant building," said Stephen Eynon, a first vice president at CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the brokerage that is marketing the property's office space. "We are looking to attract larger corporate users."

The building's occupancy rate had fallen to 79% as of April 7, according to the filing, in part because management is warehousing space to create larger offices for tenants, Eynon said. The building's rental rates on new office leases are now about US$52 to US$63 a square foot, up from US$32 to US$42 a year ago.

The total cost of the overhaul will be about US$660-million, including US$442-million for renovations to common areas and upgrades to electrical, heating, security and other systems, the April SEC filing shows. Another US$218-million will be spent to improve office spaces for tenants and to pay leasing commissions and finance closing costs.

'Unusual' Spending

"To spend that much just on a renovation is very unusual," said Woody Heller, executive managing director at Studley Inc., a New York-based real estate brokerage. "But there are very few buildings as large as this one, so by definition all the numbers are going to be very big."

The property may be worth about US$1,000 a square foot, said Heller, which would equal almost US$2.8-billion based on the 2.75-million rentable square feet listed in the SEC filing.

According to the April 24 filing, the additional borrowing will raise projected debt after ten years to about US$300 a square foot. That would equal about US$824-million, based on the building's 2.75-million square feet of rental office and retail space, as listed in the filing. The documents didn't say whether the projected debt figure includes the existing US$61-million mortgage.

The projected debt would be as much as 20% lower, or closer to US$660-million, were it based on usable square footage as opposed to rentable square footage, said Dan Fasulo, managing director of Manhattan-based Real Capital Analytics.

"It's more common for older buildings to have a bigger difference between usable and rentable space," said Fasulo, whose firm provides research and consulting services on the commercial real estate industry. "There is a lot more wasted space" in common areas such as corridors, he said.

In the filing, Wien & Malkin said that mortgage interest rates are "extremely low compared to historic levels." The documents also said that discussions are under way with several institutional lenders "who have indicated an ability and desire to proceed."

The Empire State Building's ownership structure is complex. The building itself is owned by W&H Properties, a partnership between the Malkin family and the late Leona Helmsley, according to Eynon. Empire State Building Associates, which has some 2,764 investors, holds a master lease on the building until 2076 and also owns the underlying land, purchased in 2002 through the US$61-million first mortgage.

The building, completed in 1931, was conceived by former General Motors Corp. executive John Jakob Raskob to be higher than Walter Chrysler's Art Deco tower on 42nd Street.

NYguy May 18, 2008 11:30 AM


Developer Peter Malkin is seeking to finance a US$660-million renovation of the Empire State Building to lure large firms to New York City's tallest skyscraper, a haven for small businesses for decades.

Wien & Malkin LLC, a New York-based real estate company, is asking investors in Empire State Building Associates LLC to approve borrowing to pay for modernizing the iconic 1930s office tower.
This needs to get done. In the next few years when the area around Penn Station changes, there will be even more demand for modern office space.

NYguy May 26, 2008 9:28 AM

An Occasion to Wear ‘Empire State Burgundy’

Robert Gross, a guard at the Empire State Building, at a fitting with Jennifer L. Busch, and her father, Stuart, of I. Buss Uniform Company. Ms. Busch said she used design elements that are “classic for Art Deco,” evoking a time when the building was new.

A makeover inside the building was extended to the uniforms.

May 26, 2008

Fifteen years after the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” gave his workplace even more fame, Robert Gross finally has a uniform that is camera worthy.

Mr. Gross is a guard at the Empire State Building who is usually posted at the 86th-floor observatory. The view from there is something. The uniforms that he and his colleagues used to wear — plain polo shirts and dark slacks — were not.

But his on-duty look is changing. The building is getting something of a makeover inside, and the building’s owners decided to extend that to custom-made uniforms that have just been delivered — 300 uniforms, each including 3 jackets, 4 pairs of slacks and 11 shirts.

The uniforms were hand-trimmed in a workroom 10 blocks from the Empire State Building. The building commissioned a Manhattan company that makes the uniforms seen on many apartment doormen and on some staff members at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the United Nations and the Waldorf-Astoria.

“I love that they’re doing this more formal look,” said Jennifer L. Busch, a vice president of the uniform company, I. Buss. “They were in polo shirts. That’s not a uniform.”

I. Buss has off-the-rack styles like the Gramercy, a three-button double-breasted jacket, and the Windsor, a two-button single-breasted. But the Empire State Building wanted something special. So Ms. Busch, whose great-grandfather started the company in 1892, scoured old photographs to find a look that was in style when the Empire State Building was new.

It opened in 1931, when Art Deco designers were celebrating the Machine Age. Ms. Busch soon settled on a distinctively Art Deco look.

That led her to design uniforms that are a throwback, but not just in appearance. In the 1930s, such outfits were probably made by hand. I. Buss still makes its clothes by hand, with Trevor Lett cutting the fabric and Ms. Busch’s 73-year-old father, Stuart, doing the fitting.

The jackets’ sleeves bear chevrons. “This is a classic for Art Deco,” she said.

The rest of the jacket is a particular shade of red — “Empire State burgundy.” It is a custom color chosen to match the setting in which the uniforms will be worn, the building’s marble corridors.

“We thought if you look at the different marbles here, you’ll see a common theme, which is maroon,” said James T. Connors, the building’s general manager. “That’s where the color came from.”

Ms. Busch also designed ties with a special logo — the building against a starburst pattern, also an Art Deco touch. And she worked out a custom-made typeface for the hats that go with the uniforms. That typeface will also be used on signs for stores in the building, and was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission because the building is a city landmark.

The new uniforms were commissioned to coincide with a $500 million renovation intended to give the Empire State Building a look that is “historically accurate and historically reminiscent,” Mr. Connors said.

The plans call for removing dropped ceilings in the lobby that were installed in the 1950s, he said. That will expose the original ceilings, making the corridors look pretty much the way they looked when Alfred E. Smith, the former governor of New York, signed on as the Empire State Building’s first manager.

The new uniforms presented another problem: how to store them and distribute them at the beginning of each shift. “Moving from slacks and a golf shirt to this fairly cumbersome package resulted in the challenge of how to manage and house it all,” Mr. Connors said. “We looked at a much larger locker room, or a much smaller room” where the uniforms could be stored and handed out by a clerk.

Instead, the building installed an automated system that Mr. Connors said was the first of its kind in New York, though it has been popular with casinos. It dispenses and collects the uniforms automatically.

An employee swipes his identification card at a device that looks like a cash machine. Inside, a rack like something out of a dry cleaner’s shop whirls. A door opens, and the employee can reach in and lift out his uniform, on its hanger.

It works for any employee with a uniform — and that includes Mr. Connors. After all, he said, “I was often the model for the jacket.”

America 117 May 26, 2008 2:37 PM

sorry to be off topic but is there a thread on time warner center

Amanita May 26, 2008 10:34 PM

Empire State, I love you!
My next excursion to the US may well be to NYC..As long as I can find somebody to split the hotel fees with me, they're freaking expensive.

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