The Real Deal New York

Let there be light: Rockefeller plans $325M renovation at former Time & Life building

New 1271 Avenue of the Americas will emphasize open space

November 19, 2015 09:17AM

Atsushi Nakajima 1217 Avenue of the Americas

Rockefeller’s Atsushi Nakajima and 1271 Avenue of the Americas in Midtown

The Rockefeller Group is planning an ambitious $325 million makeover at the former Time & Life Building at 1271 Avenue of the Americas.

The developer is planning to replace the building’s entire curtain wall – all 450,000 square feet of it – and create a more transparent, light-bathed interior space.

“From the outside looking in you won’t notice much,” Rockefeller’s Edward Guiltinan told the Wall Street Journal. “But from the inside looking out, it will be much more dramatic.”

The company also plans to eliminate a messenger center and empty retail space from the building’s distinctive, landmarked lobby, as well as open a new entrance on Sixth Avenue.

Architecture firm Pei Cobb Freed & Partners will oversee the work, which will take place in 2017 after the building’s office leases expire.

The 48-story, nearly 2 million-square-foot building, opened in 1959. Located between West 50th and West 51st streets across from Radio City Music Hall, the office tower was the former home of Time Inc. which also collaborated in its construction.

Time Inc. is in the process of relocating its headquarters downtown, to a 700,000-square-foot space at Brookfield Office Properties’ 225 Liberty Street in the Financial District. The firm also recently inked a lease for 55,000 square feet at Industry City. [WSJ]Ariel Stulberg