The Park Avenue/Madison Square submarket once served as the commercial heart of the city. As real estate prices in Midtown soared during the 1980s, large corporations flocked to the area around Madison Square and the slightly more affordable stretch of Park Avenue known as Park Avenue South.
All the insurance and financial services giants took up office space in Park Avenue/Madison Square. The district entered a new era when Credit Suisse First Boston moved into the former MetLife North Building, an Art Deco classic at 11 Madison Avenue located right across the street from Madison Square. Banks are also numerous in this area of Midtown South, with Chase Bank occupying almost the entire block between East 18th and East 19th Streets.
Besides its classic brick prewar buildings that attract companies looking for creative office space, the Park Avenue/Madison Square district also boasts a top restaurant scene. The district’s emergence as a top dining destination in New York City was sparked by the opening of Gramercy Tavern in 1994, and continues to thrive today.
With an inventory of 59 buildings featuring close to 20 million square feet of office space, the Park Avenue/Madison Square submarket is a highly appealing destination for both small tech firms and large corporations. The appeal of this office scene has drawn prestigious tenants like St. Martin’s Press to the Flatiron Building, Rizzoli Publications to 300 Park Avenue South, and Pentagram at 204 Fifth Avenue. Credit Suisse operates out of the iconic Met Life Tower at 11 Madison Avenue, ABS Partners Real Estate and Elizabeth Arden Inc. are located within the Everett Building at 200 Park Avenue South, while the Port Authority and STV Incorporated take up office space at 225 Park Avenue South.
One of the most recent firms to join the big-ticket tenant roster within the district is Shinhan Bank, which signed a deal for more than 32,000 square feet at 475 Park Avenue South in Q1 2019.
Average office asking rents in Midtown South are on the rise, reaching $83.51 per square foot in March, according to CBRE’s first-quarter of 2019 data. Average rents in the Park Avenue/Madison Square submarket hover just below $80 per square foot. Prices are slightly lower in the area due to an availability rate of 13 percent–the highest in Midtown South. However, fundamentals are strong and the convenient location will likely continue to draw investors looking for quality office space.
The Park Avenue/Madison Square submarket was once the heart of the city, thus transportation options are plentiful. The Sixth Avenue, Broadway, and East Side subway lines all serve the district. The East Side IRT runs directly beneath Park Avenue South, with local stations all up and down the avenue.