WPP Sells HQ Property, Heads To Columbus Circle

285-Madison-Ave-AWPP said it has completed the sale of its property at 285 Madison Ave. in New York City for nearly $190 million.

The property has been the worldwide headquarters of WPP-owned ad agency Young & Rubicam Inc. since 1926, when the 25-story building was erected. It was acquired as part of WPP's purchase of Y&R in 2000 for $5.7 billion.

It was just over a year ago that Y&R employee Suzanne Hart was tragically killed in an elevator accident at the building. An investigation by the city in the aftermath implicated an elevator maintenance company whose employees had been working on the elevator shortly before the accident.

Y&R had announced plans to move its headquarters uptown to Columbus Circle before the accident, citing the need for an updated space. Those plans are scheduled to take effect in 2013, WPP confirmed. 

The move is scheduled for around mid-year. Sister agencies that are part of the Y&R Group also housed at 285 Madison will also make the move uptown. They include interactive strategy shop Blast Radius, branding firm BrandBuzz, digital marketing agency VML and direct-response specialist Wunderman, among others.

The buyer of 285 Madison has been identified as RFR Realty, which reportedly has plans to convert the building into hotel space. 

Tags: agency
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2 comments about "WPP Sells HQ Property, Heads To Columbus Circle".
  1. Thomas Siebert from WOLFGANG SOLO: Strategic Communications & Benevolent Propaganda , December 20, 2012 at 1:17 p.m.
    Did anyone ever get punished at the building or the elevator maintenance company responsible for that elevator tragedy? Obviously there was a terrible failure to keep the elevator up to contemporary safety standards.
  2. Stephen McClellan from MediaPost , December 20, 2012 at 1:39 p.m.
    A couple of employees of the maintenance company were reportedly let go. And the company was sued by at least one of the people inside the elevator who witnessed the tragedy. No word yet, at least no public word, on whether Hart's estate or family is suing or talking settlement with the building's owner or the maintenance co.