"The Future is Here" - One-on-One with L&L Holding Co's Rob Lapidus Part 1

October 03, 2018

Robert Lapidus of L&L Holding Co. was interviewed by Lisa Knee, a Real Estate Partner at EisnerAmper, about the development at 390 Madison Avenue. They also spoke about the kinds of spaces that institutional tenants are looking for in order to attract employees, the needs of Millennial tenants, and how retail spaces enhance properties.


Lisa Knee: Hi I’m Lisa Knee from EisnerAmper we are here today with Robert Lapidus president and chief investment officer of L&L Holding Co., we're here today at one of the most talked about adaptive reuse projects 390 Madison Avenue, Rob thank you for taking the time out today to walk us around this amazing project.

This twenty four story building has been completely redesigned down to its bare bones as we can see, the Con Peterson Fox redesign has included an eight-story unit on top as well as new exterior higher ceilings and a new floor plan, can you discuss how this project has been different than some of your other reconfigurations of office buildings in Manhattan?

Robert Lapidus: Sure well first of all this is the first 21st century institutional building in Midtown, it's the first one, the other deals that we worked on you know 114 5th, 150 5th,200 5th were all in Midtown South. Midtown doesn't have that type of product and so our objective was to go away from commodity type space and create specialty type of space so what we did here by re-massing the building and pulling out twenty percent of the existing structure to create eight outdoor terraces, column free space on the top, and really the type of environment the 21st century institutional tenants want so we can compete in the marketplace.

LK: The hottest topic right now in business today is talking about the millennials and creating a work-life dynamic for them addressing their office needs in their office space, your sign downstairs says the future is here, how have you addressed those issues within this space and how do you advise the tenants who are looking?

RL: So in general, you know, the workplace environment has changed a lot the millennial generation is going to be more than fifty percent of the workforce over the next through 20 or 30 years, basically people want to collaborate more the whole idea of big offices and people walled off from each other was really a design of the past it started with technology companies you know Silicon Valley, where people are working together hand in hand and that concept has really transformed the way tenants use their space so in all of our buildings we try to create amenities and create collaborative space for tenants that really speaks to their culture and speaks to the way in which you know they work today and how they want to retain and how they want to attract the best employees and retain them as well.

LK: So when you talk about what Eataly has done downtown what's the wow factor that you're going to create here?

RL: Well listen the retail downstairs if you think about Madison Avenue in the ‘40s if you know it's pretty much you know men's suits and banks here we want to create something that is an amenity for the building and an amenity for the area and the design is really inspired by Alice Tully Hall sort of that rake and so you’ll see what it is you know we're talking to people right now but it's always very important to think about how the retail space in any of our properties enhances the experience upstairs so not just bringing in necessarily the highest rent payer but bringing in someone who is an amenity to the building and the tenants and to the community which is exactly what Eataly did at 200 and 5th,they weren't the highest rent payer when we did that deal but we thought the way it animated the community and created an amenity for people around the park as well as our tenants really made a lot of sense.

LK: Thank you so much for taking the time today to walk through share your story with us explain to us what's going on at 390 Madison this great project I think we're all going to be looking forward to seeing upon completion at least with walls and windows maybe we'll come back when it's a little bit warmer out but thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your story with us and telling us a little bit about the projects that you've been working on.

RL: Our pleasure thank you so much have a great day.

About Lisa Knee

Lisa Knee is a Tax Partner and National leader of the firm's Real Estate practice and the National Real Estate Private Equity Group with expertise in the hotel, real estate, financial services, aviation and restaurant sectors and is a member of AICPA, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Bar Association.

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