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125 Park Avenue Lobby gets $4.5M Facelift

NEW YORK, NY (June 5, 2008 ) – Shorenstein Properties has just completed a $4.5M renovation at 125 Park Avenue. The renovation, designed by Gertler & Wente Architects, includes a redesign and configuration of the lobby to improve traffic flow, new glass 42nd Street entry, a new concierge desk and security turnstiles, lighting, elevator cabs, new grey Italian Balsitina stone floors, and a lighted sculptural wall.

125 Park Avenue, once known as the Pershing Square Building, was designed by York & Sawyer in 1923. The building is characterized by a blend of Italian architectural styles, featuring a classic terra cotta brick exterior. Commenting on the renovation, Ronnie Ragoff, Senior Vice President of Shorenstein Properties, said, “the renovated lobby and entry offers tenants the distinguished exterior of a graceful, pre-war building coupled with the conveniences of a modern, efficient interior of institutional quality.”

The property is located amid the energy of 42nd Street directly across the street from Grand Central Terminal. The largest redesign challenge was “creating a comfortable and smooth transition between the 42nd Street entrance and the elevator banks, which are located 140 feet apart and have a three and a half foot difference in elevation” says partner, Jeff Gertler, of Gertler & Wente Architects. The task was accomplished through several design features including gracing the widened entrance with a modern glass and steel canopy lit with concealed LED light fixtures, which echoes the timeless geometry of the adjacent viaduct that connects Park Avenue to Grand Central Terminal; placement of stairs diminishing the apparent difference in grade; a new Pilkington Glass wall at the entrance creating an open and seamless transition between 42nd Street and the lobby; and the crowning design element, a luminous 150 square foot glass wall at the end of the 140 foot passageway, giving the effect of a waterfall and guiding visitors to the elevator core.

About Shorenstein Properties LLC:
San Francisco-based Shorenstein Properties LLC (www.shorenstein.com) is one of the oldest and most successful private real estate investment companies active throughout the United States in the acquisition, development, ownership and management of office and mixed-use properties.  Since its beginning in 1924, the company has evolved from a regional real estate operating company to an active national investor and manager of commingled institutional capital.   Since 1992, Shorenstein has sponsored nine closed-end real estate investment funds.  Shorenstein’s substantial co-investment, integrated investment and operating strategy, and strong performance have positioned the company as an experienced leader in the value-added arena.

About Gertler & Wente Architects :
Gertler & Wente Architects is a full-service architectural, interior design, and project management firm with an uncompromising commitment to excellence in professional services and complete client satisfaction.

Our experience over the last twenty-three years has included new construction, building expansions, renovations, restoration, and interior design for Commercial, Institutional and Residential clientele.  Growing demand by today’s discriminating clients for broader expertise and increased value from their design and construction professionals has redefined the architectural firm of choice. Clients are seeking architectural firms that offer a “high-octane” blend of design excellence, cost consciousness, construction savvy, and keen project management skills. It is a rare architectural firm that excels in all accounts. Gertler & Wente Architects is dedicated to fulfilling this need.  Gertler & Wente Architects has earned a reputation of consistently providing dedicated service and unique, distinguished design, on time and within budget.  We explore the creative opportunities that exist in each individual project, and with each client. We strive to understand and embrace our client’s project objectives and values, and are committed to pursue architectural and interior designs that are inspirational, satisfying, and meaningful to our client.  Central to our work, is our effort to provide rigorous professional service and accountability. We enjoy a reputation of “going the extra mile”, and developing design solutions that yield the greatest value to our clients.

125 Park Avenue Fact Sheet:

* Completed in 1923
* Original architect, York & Sawyer
* 25-story building
* 596,773 square foot office building

Key Renovation Improvements:

* $26 million redevelopment project completed in 2004.  Key improvements included:
o upgrading façade
o upgrading mechanical systems
* $4.5 million renovation project completed in May 2008.  Key renovation improvements included:
o Lobby (objective:  reconfigure traffic flow and upgrade finishes, lighting, and security turnstiles)
+ Widening 42nd Street entrance
+ Placement of a series of stairs, one exterior set at street level and the other inside the new entrance, diminishing the apparent difference in grade between the entrance and elevator banks which are 140 feet apart
+ A new Pilkington Glass wall at the entrance creating an open and seamless transition between the entrance and lobby
+ A luminous 150 sf glass wall at the end of the 140 foot passageway between the entrance and elevator core, which gives the effect of a waterfall and guides visitors to the elevators.  The Bendheim glass wall is a staggered assembly of aluminum backed textured glass panels lit with neon tubes that can be seen from across the street standing in front of Grand Central Terminal
+ A new backlight white onyx reception desk
+ New security turnstiles both at 42nd and 41st Street entries
+ a new floor of dark grey Italian Balsitina stone (lava rock), elegantly contrasting with the existing marble champagne color walls
o 42nd Street Entrance
+ The entrance was widened by one column bay
+ A new projecting arched canopy made of modern steel and glass.  The canopy is lit with concealed LED light fixture tubes as it elegantly arches over the sidewalk
o Elevators
+ New custom lighting of recessed bronze light fixtures made to match the existing ornate elevator doors