THE PLAN

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950 Third Avenue
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As with most companies specializing in finance, officials at Coller Capital require a certain amount of privacy, which is illustrated by how the reception area is designed to keep visitors out while maintaining an illusion of openness thanks to the installation of two doors. “There’s definitely a flow to this layout,” said Mr. Nahmias. “As you can see from the partitioning, it’s really done so that a visitor coming in is directed into the area that they’re supposed to go to have a meeting.” In addition to the large conference room at the center of the plan, four conference and breakout rooms have been designed near the northwest corner of the building. Only one private office has been planned. “There will be a regional manager sitting in that office,” said Mr. Nahmias, who said visiting executives will be afforded space at bullpen workstations.

hen a financial services firm vacated the 29th floor of 950 Third Avenue earlier this year, the building’s owners, Naomi and Andre Althoz, deemed the space entirely unsalvageable. “The landlord at that point demolished the floor and white-boxed it and turned it into a marketing center for the building,” said Mikael Nahmias, the Cushman & Wakefield broker who, along with Jared Horowitz, acts as leasing agent for the East 57th Street building. Within four months, however, executives at Coller Capital, a boutique private equities firm, came upon the 11,500-square-foot floor plate and its views of Central Park and the East and Hudson Rivers and made a decision to relocate from offices at 410 Park Avenue following an agreement by the landlord to custom-build the space to the tenant’s specific preferences. Last week, Mr. Nahmias reviewed the furniture plan with The Commercial Observer and discussed why, exactly, officials at Coller Capital chose to ink a deal earlier this month at Naomi and Andre Althoz’s 32-story office tower.
Because Coller Capital is a boutique private equity firm that specializes in the secondaries market, enormous trading floors such as those used by Goldman Sachs were deemed unnecessary. The former tenant, also a small financial services firm, had similar requirements. “It works well for this type of financial services group,” said Mr. Nahmias. “It’s a boutique firm, so they don’t need tremendous trading floors, but at the same time, the floor plate could work for any services firm because—if you take a look at the plan—there’s four sides of windows.”

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Like other tenants who ink fullfloor deals, Coller Capital will now boast a private elevator bank with company signage and the ability to customize the hallway. “They’re going to have their corporate logo displayed right on that back wall,” said Mr. Nahmias, who added that the hallway and reception floors will be constructed from marble. Taking advantage of four walls of windows was integral to the design, said Mr. Nahmias. In addition to low workstations that don’t impede the views, perimeter conference rooms and a single private office that will obstruct natural light have been strategically placed away from the open plan so as not to diminish sunlight in the area. “The partitions don’t go all the way up to the ceiling,” said Mr. Nahmias of the work stations. “But, in general, there’s a lot of glass incorporated throughout the office. It was meant to capitalize on all the natural light.”

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Because Coller Capital is headquartered in London, a large conference room near the center of the New York office will host its fair share of virtual meetings, not to mention client gatherings. “You can see that it’s coming right off of a very well-designed reception area,” said Mr. Nahmias. “This is what’s going to greet the clients when they’re coming through the door.”

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34 | September 18, 2012  | The Commercial Observer