Developer SL Green, which launched its One Vanderbilt skyscraper at a ceremony Monday where Mayor de Blasio cut the ribbon, is counting on a lavish new restaurant to lure more office tenants – and to make the tower synonymous with glamorous dining as the Four Seasons once did for the Seagram Building.
SL Green has restaurant tenants in its other office buildings. But in a departure, the real estate company isn’t merely a landlord to superchef Daniel Boulud at One Vanderbilt, but a full-fledged partner. SL Green CEO Marc Holliday said it’s putting up most of the dough for Le Pavillon by Daniel Boulud, an 11,000 square-foot eatery on the second floor overlooking Grand Central Terminal next door.
Boulud’s company, Dinex Group, will put in some money as well and manage and operate the 120-seat dining room. The Post first reported plans for Boulud’s restaurant at the site in 2017.
It’s believed to be the first such partnership for SL Green, which is the landlord of chef Daniel Humm’s acclaimed Eleven Madison Park, or EMP, at 11 Madison Ave. That restaurant had a standard lease, although it might have been restructured under a recent deal to help EMP weather the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown.
A-list restaurants are increasingly important to new and repositioned Manhattan office towers. For example, Humm plans another pricey eatery at L&L Holding Co.’s 425 Park Ave. and Estiatorio Avra is coming to the redesigned former Time + Life Building on Sixth Avenue.
Le Pavillon should be a powerful draw for One Vanderbilt, where one-third of its total 1.7 million square feet of offices have yet to be leased. The Grand Central neighborhood has few top-line restaurants other than steakhouses.
Le Pavillon will sit beneath a ceiling that will soar 57 feet high at one point. It has a “French name but it’s not a French restaurant,” Boulud said — but rather a mostly seafood restaurant “that’s an expression of New York.”
In fact, Boulud never saw the original Le Pavillon, which belonged to the era when snooty French “Le’s and La’s” dominated the Manhattan scene.
He called the One Vanderbilt establishment a “nod to the past and a salute to the future” at the ribbon-cutting. It will open in the first quarter of 2021 subject to capacity rules.
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