Global insurance giant Chubb Group signed a lease on Thursday as the long-awaited first tenant at Olayan Group’s 550 Madison Ave., the landmarked “Chippendale” tower between East 55th and 56th streets.
The Post first reported the negotiations — and a likely three-month time frame to nail down the lease — back on Aug. 8.
All eyes have been on the Philip Johnson and John Burgee-designed tower as a bellwether for the Midtown market as it strains to recover from high vacancy and unease over when employees will return to offices.
Chubb’s 10-floor, 240,000-square-foot commitment, an expansion from its current 180,000 square feet at 1133 Sixth Ave. which it will leave, fills 31 percent of 550 Madison. Olayan is said to be in advanced talks with several other prospective tenants as well.
Terms were not available but Chubb is expected to be paying well above $100 per square foot.
Olayan has held its breath over 550 Madison ever since it paid $1.4 billion for the vacant former Sony tower in 2016 — and more so during the pandemic. Assisted by development partner RXR Realty, Olayan has also spent at least $300 million more to slightly redesign lower floors, create a new lobby, double the amount of public space and install advanced “wellness” features.
Erik Horvat, managing director and head of real estate for Olayan America, said 550 Madison offers “the single healthiest office environment in the city.” The tower is aiming for both LEED Platinum and WELL Gold certifications for its advanced “wellness” features.