Milstein donates former Facebook office to startup incubator

Grand Central Tech looks to kick off Midtown East tech boom with 12-18 startups

335 Madison Avenue
335 Madison Avenue

UPDATED, 12:59 p.m., April 17: Milstein Properties is teaming up with business incubator Grand Central Tech in hopes of kicking off a thriving startup community in Midtown East, in a space that once served as Facebook’s New York offices.

Landlord and developer Milstein is donating 15,000 square feet of space at 335 Madison Avenue, across from Grand Central Terminal between East 44th and East 43rd streets, to hold 12 to 18 fledgling startups, the Wall Street Journal reported. The ultimate goal, Grand Central Tech’s organizers told the paper, is to extend the trend of tech firms populating loft-like spaces beyond current hotspots like the Flatiron District and Chelsea.

“It’s great to have a community that eats, breathes and sleeps what they are building,” Charles Bonello, a co-founder and managing director of Grand Central Tech, told the Journal.

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Grand Central Tech plans to open the space in June, and will follow the model of a pilot program Bonello and co-founder Matthew Harrigan ran from their alma matter Regis High School on the Upper East Side last summer. Unlike similar incubator programs, Grand Central Tech will take no equity/ownership stake in participating startups, a spokesperson for the incubator told The Real Deal. [WSJ]Julie Strickland