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Olympic Tower
Olympic Tower NY by David Shankbone.JPG
General information
Location 645 5th Avenue
New York City, New York
Coordinates 40°45′33″N 73°58′34″W / 40.7592°N 73.9760°W / 40.7592; -73.9760Coordinates: 40°45′33″N 73°58′34″W / 40.7592°N 73.9760°W / 40.7592; -73.9760
Construction started 1972
Completed 1976
Owner Oxford Properties
Management Oxford Properties
Height
Roof 620 ft (190 m)
Technical details
Floor count 51
Floor area 92,900 m2 (1,000,000 sq ft)
Design and construction
Architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The Olympic Tower is a 51-story building in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, at 641 Fifth Avenue between East 51st and 52nd streets. Built in 1976, it was constructed on a site that was occupied by a Best & Company store built in 1947. It contains 225 condominium apartments and more than 250,000 square feet (23,000 m2) of office space and retail space. Situated near St. Patrick's Cathedral, it offers views of the cathedral's buttresses and Fifth Avenue. Upon construction, it became a prime real estate location for the glitterati of that time.

History

The tower was constructed by shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and his company, Victory Development, in a joint venture partnership with Arlen Realty & Development Corporation.

In May 2012, real estate investment firm Crown Acquisitions took a 49.9 percent stake in the commercial portion of the tower for $420 million, valuing the building at around $1 billion. In May 2015, Crown Acquisitions purchased the remaining ownership interests for $652 million. In 2015, Oxford Properties acquired a majority interest. In May 2017, the companies received a $760 million commercial mortgage-backed security interest-only loan from Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley backed by the property. The loan was broken into 11 pari passu senior notes totaling $611 million and 3 junior notes totaling $149 million. The banks also originated a $240 million mezzanine loan which was subsequently sold to TIAA and Mirae Asset Financial Group.

Architecture and design

Olympic Tower was designed by the architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, notable for designing the Willis Tower and the John Hancock Center in Chicago, among many other high-rise buildings in the U.S. and elsewhere. Paul Goldberger of the New York Times criticized the building's architecture as "oppressively banal". The planned mixed use of the building was the first use of that zoning on Fifth Avenue: there were 21 floors of offices, 30 of condominiums, and high-end retail on the first floor.

Tenants

Since 1998, the National Basketball Association has had their headquarters at the property. Currently, the organization occupies 175,000 square feet (16,300 m2) across floors 11 through 20 with a lease extending through 2035. Richemont's North America subsidiary has also been headquartered at the property since 2001, with their current space covering 126,000 square feet (11,700 m2) on floors three through nine with a lease running through 2028. Other office tenants include Michael Dell's investment firm MSD Capital which occupies roughly 44,000 square feet (4,100 m2) on floors 10 and 21. The building's valuable Fifth Avenue retail space is occupied by luxury retailers such as Richemont, H.Stern, Armani Exchange, Longchamp, Furla and Jimmy Choo Ltd.

The completed building housed some of the most luxurious condos in the world at that time. 1980s billionaire Adnan Khashoggi had a swimming pool installed in his two story apartment, which encompassed two floors of the tower, after the building was constructed. Other notables who lived there included choreographer, director and dancer Ron Field, who choreographed the Broadway musicals Cabaret and Applause, and actress Anne Hathaway and her then partner Raffaello Follieri, later imprisoned for real-estate fraud. Alessandra and Allegra Gucci, the daughters of Maurizio Gucci, owned a penthouse in the building, which they listed for sale in August 2015. According to court documents, Venezuelan businessman Alejandro Betancourt López, who has been accused of profiting unfairly from deals with the government of that country, also bought a penthouse in the building.

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