Amazon on Tuesday unveiled a plush new office on Fifth Avenue, the former home of one of the city’s most famous department stores, as the e-tailer seeks to bring employees back to its offices.
The company founded by Jeff Bezos has transformed the more than 100-year-old building that once housed Lord & Taylor into a cutting-edge destination for its employees, according to a tour provided to the Post. .
The upper floors are all filled with gleaming kitchens and shared lounge spaces, most of which are dedicated to Amazon’s engineers, including those who develop robotic devices such as automatic coffee-making arms.
The 600,000-square-foot space also includes foosball games with electronic screens, film production technology and a room called the “garage” where technicians create things with 3D printers.
The Post reported that the 11-story building between 38th and 39th Streets will feature an elaborate park that includes a dog park and a rooftop cafeteria.
Mayor Eric Adams attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and praised the Seattle giant for turning the “death of the department store” into “fertilizer” for the city’s future.
Amazon bought the landmark building from WeWork for $1.15 billion before the pandemic began and spent the past few years renovating it, making sure to retain much of its historic flourishes. I tried.
They kept the gold trim on the department store’s elevators and the ornate windows above the Fifth Avenue entrance, but built an art installation honoring the Queen’s restaurant, Bird Cage.
The building’s exterior also retains the black cursive Lord & Taylor sign on the 39th Street side that long identified the retailer to passersby.
“It deserves to continue,” John Schutler, vice president of global real estate and facilities, told the Post.
The entire building pays homage to the 200-year-old department store, which filed for bankruptcy in August 2020 and closed permanently on Fifth Avenue just a few months later.
About 2,000 employees, about one-fifth of the company’s New York workforce, began working three days a week in renovated offices in July.
Last month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy warned those who defy his orders that “it probably won’t work,” the Post previously reported.
Shetler pledged that employees would help lift up Midtown, which has not fully recovered from the pandemic and subsequent loss of office workers.
Amazon is inviting local retail tenants to fill 35,000 square feet of retail space at the base of the building at 425 Fifth Avenue, which it plans to lease in the coming months.
“We are working on a number of concepts with local businesses that want to expand,” Schettler said.
He declined to comment on potential tenants, but acknowledged it would not be a chain store.
Amazon also announced a partnership with the City University of New York, which will give the university 1,500 square feet of classroom space on the first floor, where the public can walk through the building.
The Midtown office opening comes after Amazon pulled out of construction on its Long Island City headquarters in 2019 after local progressive lawmakers opposed subsidies and tax breaks provided to the company.