Giorgio Armani and landlord SL Green Realty are planning to redevelop the designer’s flagship store at 760 Madison Avenue, adding 19 luxury residences, the companies announced on Friday.
Construction on the 97,000-square-foot project is expected to begin in 2020 and be complete in 2023, at which point the fashion designer says he will take up residence in the building. Armani will “conceive” the interiors, while COOKFOX Architects will be responsible for the design.
“Our approach is to reinterpret the design sensibility of classic Madison Avenue building,” said Rick Cook, COOKFOX principal, “to create a contemporary and iconic residence and retail building for both the Upper East Side Historic District and the Armani brand.”
Though more well known as a fashion designer, Giorgio Armani began branching out into interior design in 2004, when he signed a deal for an Armani Hotel inside the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. A second Armani Hotel was opened in Milan in 2011, in a joint venture with Dubai developer Emaar Properties.
The Armani/Casa interior design service, also established in 2004, has been involved in projects from Miami and London to Tel Aviv and Manila.
SL Green paid $282 million for the land under the Armani store and three adjacent buildings in 2014, two years after acquiring the ground lease on the properties for $32 million in partnership with Stonehenge Partners.
The following year, SL Green sought to raise rents on the store, to which Giorgio Armani responded with a lawsuit alleging “an illegal and collusive scheme” on the landlord’s part. But in December 2015, Armani ultimately agreed to a nearly four-fold rent hike, from an under-market $3.5 million to $13.5 million per year.
“Armani’s commitment to Madison Avenue and New York City is unwavering,” Marc Holliday, SL Green’s CEO, said in Friday’s announcement. “The brand’s leadership will preserve all that we, as New Yorkers, love about the Upper East Side of Manhattan.”
Located in the Upper East Side Historic District, the redevelopment will require approval of the Landmark Preservation Commission. The developers have brought on historic preservation consultants Higgins, Quasebarth and Partners and zoning consultants Greenberg Traurig to assist with the approval process.