NYC buildings pile on luxury perks to lure and keep high-end tenants

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Well-heeled New Yorkers working in one Manhattan skyscraper will soon be able to get plastic surgery, liposuction, cat scans and other medical treatments at the push of an elevator button.

At 9 W. 57th St. — which houses Chanel, asset manager Apollo Global Management, and private-equity firm Veritas Capital — the landlord is building a luxury medical center on the 24th floor along with a tenant-only amenity floor with a restaurant and bar, as well as a basement-level health center.

“Almost all modern-day buildings have health clubs,” said Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, owner of the Solow Building. “Our chairman, Stefan [Soloviev], thought, ‘what can we do for our tenants that would really be a step up in amenities, particularly in light of the health problems created in the pandemic?’ He wanted a medical center staffed by physicians, with some free services offered to clients.”

The center, under construction now, will include an operating room for various cosmetic procedures, said Dr. Steven Victor, a cosmetic dermatologist and regenerative medicine specialist who is Soloviev Group’s chief medical officer and is running the center.

Tenants can also get procedures as simple — and free — as a COVID test or a blood pressure check in the center or even at their desks.

Busy executives “will certainly love the idea of visiting their physician without having to do more than a vertical commute to get there,” said Paul Wexler of The Corcoran Group, a health care real estate broker.

The medical center is part of a larger push by commercial landlords across the city — which were hit by the pandemic with surging vacancies and plummeting property values — to use attractive incentives to get companies to sign new deals in their buildings or stay put.

“Amenities used to be nice to have,” said tenant broker Bill Montana of Savills. “Now they are a necessity. There is enormous competition between companies to attract and retain talented knowledge workers. And with many workers reluctant to return to the office, these imaginative amenities are an effective tool to convince them to resume their daily commute.”

Global Investment management company Nuveen is sprucing up its 665,000-square-foot 730 Third Ave., where it has its corporate headquarters (in 340,000 square feet). Renovations include the addition of a tenant-only food hall run by Restaurant Associates, two beehives and a luxury gym with personal trainers, spa-like showers and towel service.

“You want to attract tenants that want a very differentiated experience so their [hiring of] employees — and retention of employees — are very high, and the experience they have when they’re at the office is something that they actually strive to be a part of versus maybe saying, ‘oh, I can keep doing this and work from home and it doesn’t matter,’” explained Paul Amrich of the commercial real estate firm, CBRE.

Nuveen is also converting a retail space in the building into a tenant-only lounge with Topgolf golf simulators, a wet bar, TV and food, available via the building app, per Brian Wallick, a director of New York investments at the company.

“Any building with a significant block of space is doing whatever they can to distinguish themselves,” said Natasha Brown, New York regional head of asset management at Nuveen.

Right now, amenities don’t appear to be resulting in a monetary return on investment.

Having amenities “is not a revenue driver,” said Newmark broker Jordan Gosin. “I think it’s something you just have to have now.”

But as the market recovers, Amrich said he expects there to be a point when landlords would “get some payback for the investment.” But, he added, “we’re not there yet.”

The landlord at 730 Third Ave. in Manhattan has amenities on par with luxury hotels to lure and retain tenants. landlord at 730 Third Ave. in Manhattan has amenities on par with luxury hotels to lure and retain tenants. Barry Williams/New York Daily News/TNS

By Lauren Elkies Schram

New York Daily News