Amazon's rooftop dining and lounge area.

MONEY & BUSINESS: Amazon shows off NYC offices on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue

Amazon on Tuesday showed off its fancy, new Fifth Avenue offices at the former home of one the city’s most famous department stores as the e-retailer looks to entice workers back to the office.

The Jeff Bezos-founded company converted the more than century-old building that used to house Lord & Taylor into a state-of-the-art destination for its employees, according to a tour given to The Post.

The upper floors, all of which have gleaming kitchens and common lounge spaces, are mostly devoted to Amazon’s tech workers — including those who develop robotic devices like an automaton arm that makes coffee.

The 600,000 square-foot space also features a foosball game with an electronic screen, filmmaking technology and a room that’s called the “garage” where technicians make things with a 3D printer. 

On top of the 11-story building between 38th and 39th streets, there’s an elaborate park that includes a dog run and a rooftop cafeteria, as The Post reported

Mayor Eric Adams attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony and praised the Seattle giant for transforming the “death of a department store” into “fertilizer” for the future of the city.

Amazon’s Fifth Avenue headquarters has a rooftop park, where workers can gaze out onto the NYC skyline.
© 2020 Bilyana Dimitrova

Amazon bought the landmark building from WeWork before the pandemic began for $1.15 billion and spent the past couple of years renovating, but it made sure to retain many of its historic flourishes.

It kept the gold molding from the department store’s elevators, the ornate window above the Fifth Avenue entrance and built an art installation honoring the grand dame’s restaurant, the Bird Cage.

The building’s exterior also retains the black cursive Lord & Taylor sign on the 39th St. side that had long identified the retailer to passersby.

“It deserves to stay up,” John Schoettler, vice president global real estate and facilities, told The Post.

A ribbon cutting with Mayor Eric Adams and other city officials.
Politicians, including Mayor Eric Adams, hailed the Amazon office building for helping to revitalize Midtown.
Hollis Johnson

Throughout the building, there are homages to the 200-year-old department store, which filed for bankruptcy in August 2020 and closed its doors on Fifth Avenue for good just months later.

Some 2,000 employees — about a fifth of the company’s New York workforce — began reporting to the revamped office three days a week in July.

Last month, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy warned those who defy his mandate that “it’s probably not going to work out for you,” as The Post previously reported.

Schoettler promised that its employees would help lift up Midtown – which has not fully recovered from the pandemic and the subsequent loss of office workers.

Amazon is wooing local retail tenants to fill up 35,000 square feet of retail space at the base of the building at 425 Fifth Ave. that it plans to lease in the coming months.

“We are working on a lot of concepts with local businesses that want to expand,” Schoettler said.

Lounge area and ornate window.
This lounge area and ornate window — which is above the main entrance on Fifth Avenue, is one of many common areas where employees can gather.
© 2020 Bilyana Dimitrova

He declined to comment on the potential tenants but confirmed that they would not be chains.

Amazon also announced a partnership with the City University of New York, which was given 1,500 square feet of classroom space on the ground floor, where the general public can walk through the building.

The unveiling of the Midtown office comes after Amazon pulled out of building a Long Island City headquarters in 2019 after local progressive lawmakers objected to the subsidies and tax breaks the company was offered. 

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