3 Private Clubs Coming to Class A Office Space in New York

By Published On: October 20, 20225.1 min read

In Manhattan, we’ve seen a surge in private member’s clubs such as the Ned NoMad and Fasano Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side. Some of these clubs are more than private restaurants and bars with VIP events, however.

Now some private member’s clubs are offering office space, to get workers out of their home offices. New York developers are at the forefront of using commercial properties to combine office spaces with private member clubs. In fact, office space is part of a private amenity for tenants.

Unlike a typical member’s club, which relies on membership fees, these office-based private clubs don’t require individuals to pay-to-play. Building owners and operators are shifting their business model to offer more amenities to attract tenants, create buzz, and keep talents working within their walls.

A line of booths border a restaurant wall.

Image provided by Berlin Rosen

Among the latest examples of private clubs coming to Class A office space in New York City, there is 550 Madison, the historic Chippendale building which was once home to the AT&T Headquarters. This building, set in the Plaza District, will soon feature an entire floor fully dedicated to a private amenity club for its tenants.

The floor will be designed by Rockwell Group. This is where members can enjoy a high-end library curated by the book publishing house, Assouline, as well as a pool room and a dining space.

This tower became New York City’s youngest landmark in 2018, and it has undergone numerous renovations since it was first completed by architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee in 1984.

The building has column-free floors and 14-foot ceilings, a rarity for the area.

A hotel courtyard is rendered for display

Image provided by Berlin Rosen

In an interview on the 550 Madison website, Craig Dykers, a founding partner with Snøhetta, an architecture firm that designed the building, explained how the design concept has community culture at its core.

“Our goal is to transform 550 Madison so that there’s a shared life between the public realm and the commercial realm that occurs in the building,” Dykers said.

“Culture, commerce, and society thrive off one another, and we’re hoping this design will open up a new future for the building and district. The existing building’s formal qualities are monumental and unmistakable,” he added.

“It’s easy for the mind to capture a view of this building from a distance, and its iconography lingers with us in our memory, not dissimilar from, say, the Chrysler Building or the Empire State Building,” Dykers said. “Our desire is not to remove or to erase that monumentality but to refine it, especially at the levels where the building meets ground and there’s a direct interaction between people walking by and the building itself.”

A hotel courtyard is rendered from above.

Image provided by Berlin Rosen

Meanwhile, the Lever House in Midtown, a glass-built structure from SOM architects, recently underwent a $100 million renovation. The building is home to the Lever Club, an exclusive lounge, restaurant, conference venue and hospitality suite inside the skyscraper.

The club will join the impressive offering for tenants at the landmarked Lever House skyscraper, which is currently undergoing a $100 million redevelopment. On the building’s third floor, which is home to 15,000 square feet of terrace space overlooking Park Avenue, the Lever Club was created by the developers in collaboration with Los Angeles-based architecture firm Marmol Radziner. The goal of the member’s club is to provide a seamless indoor-outdoor work and entertainment environment.

“Lever Club is more than a physical space, it’s an entire hospitality offering,” said Alan Bernstein, Senior Vice President and Head of Leasing at WatermanCLARK, in a statement.

“From exclusive access to some of the most coveted indoor and outdoor space in Manhattan, to elevated culinary services that far surpass the food and beverage programs traditionally seen in corporate offices, Lever Club creates a truly unmatched, boutique work experience for the modern employee.”

They have private amenity spaces throughout the building, including a dining room, outdoor garden spaces and conference rooms that can be rented out for private gatherings. They’re also converting from open co-working space into private conference and dining rooms.

“We designed Lever Club as the preeminent modern workplace amenity where leading companies and their top talent will enjoy high-end hospitality and culinary offerings befitting one of New York City’s iconic addresses,” said Callie Haines, Executive Vice President, and Head of New York for the office business of Brookfield Properties, in a statement.

“Our vision is not only to create an inviting indoor-outdoor environment in which to work, collaborate and socialize, but also to provide comprehensive programming that will enliven the space and make Lever House an even more desirable place to work.”

A waiting room is elegantly arranged.

Image provided by Berlin Rosen. Photo by Joe Thomas.

1 Willoughby Square in Downtown Brooklyn is another building in New York with above-average amenities. Designed by architecture firm Vocon, the amenity center includes a coffee bar and library, plush banquette seating, covered outdoor space and tech-enabled conference spaces. It’s designed with the bespoke details of a private member’s club, and to date, is Brooklyn’s tallest commercial building. Their bar is called “The Garden,” as it is filled with lush, interior landscaping. Since it opened last year, it has been called a milestone, marking a new era for Downtown Brooklyn, supporting the growth of commercial space.

A bar is elegantly arranged.

Image provided by Berlin Rosen. Photo by Joe Thomas.

“1 Willoughby Square will set a new standard for commercial office space in Brooklyn, offering the best-in-class architecture, design, open space and amenities that leading companies are searching for,” said Morris Bailey, Founder and Chairman of the Board of JEMB Realty, in a statement.

“As Downtown Brooklyn continues its growth, we’re excited to be working with the EDC (Economic Development Corporation) to bring the area back to life and create a vibrant destination for those who live, work and visit the area.”

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