Midtown’s Villard Houses mansion up for lease

A Renaissance revival six-story mansion that forms part of the historic Villard Houses at 455 Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st streets is available for lease for the first time, the Wall Street Journal reported. The building was formerly home to publisher Random House, the offices of the Archdiocese of New York, and the Municipal Art Society, the latter which left in 2009.

The owners, who bought the Palace Hotel in the spring last year, which is located right next to the property, seek a high-profile tenant to fill the 27,265-square-foot-space that comprises Villard Houses, for roughly $2,000 per square foot.

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The late Harry Helmsley leased the space to the Municipal Art Society for below-market rates after incorporating the Villard Houses into the Palace Hotel. Since the 1990s, the complex has been sold and resold, most recently IN 2011 to Northwood Investors. [WSJ]