MTA's Madison Avenue Headquarters to Make Way for Luxury Developments

By Alan Neuhauser on June 27, 2013 1:51pm 

 The MTA is moving from its headquarters on Madison Avenue between 44th and 45th streets. The agency issued a request for proposals from developers on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, seeking 99-year leases for the property.
The MTA is moving from its headquarters on Madison Avenue between 44th and 45th streets. The agency issued a request for proposals from developers on Tuesday, June 25, 2013, seeking 99-year leases for the property.
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MTA/Patrick Cashin

MIDTOWN — There goes the neighborhood.

The MTA is moving from its Midtown Madison Avenue headquarters and making way for luxury developments that could include a high-end hotel, ritzy residences, Class A offices or some mixture of the three, the transit agency announced on its website Thursday.

The move, taking place at 341, 345 and 347 Madison Ave. between East 44th and East 45th streets, was first announced in April 2011, and it is scheduled to take place by the end of next year.

"It is part of a larger effort the MTA is undertaking that is projected to generate $600 million in cost savings and revenues," the agency stated, namely through consolidating office space, reducing the agency's workforce, and selling property.

The MTA issued a request for proposals from developers on Tuesday seeking a 99-year lease. Whichever company comes aboard, it said, all three buildings are expected to be demolished.

"They cannot be combined and have inefficient floor plates and redundant and antiquated building systems that have rendered them obsolete for office use," the agency said.

The Madison Avenue buildings are the latest major MTA holdings to be put up for sale. Last year, the MTA began relocating New York City Transit's former headquarters from 370 Jay St. in Downtown Brooklyn to the MTA building at 2 Broadway, which saved $184 million in renovation costs, the agency said.

The MTA is also seeking or reviewing proposals from developers for eight other properties in New York City.

The building at 347 Madison Ave., a 20-story beige brick and limestone tower originally known as the Equitable Trust Building, has served as the MTA's overall headquarters since the agency bought the structure in 1979.

The building, constructed in 1917, is connected to Grand Central Terminal by an underground walkway, and developers will be required to maintain that connection by including an entrance to the new Long Island Railroad concourse, which is being built beneath Grand Central as part of the East Side Access project.

The buildings at 341 and 345 Madison Ave. were bought by the MTA in 1991.

MTA employees who work in the agency's headquarters office will be relocated to the agency's building at 2 Broadway in the Financial District, which already includes the main offices for MTA New York City Transit, which runs trains and buses, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, which oversees river crossings, and MTA Capital Construction, which is building the Second Avenue and East Side Access projects.

Those who work in the MTA Metro-North Railroad offices will move to the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Ave.

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