The Bright, Community-Connecting Offices of Yelp NYC

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Chair Of The Month

Check out Yelp NYC‘s new Manhattan headquarters.

Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.
Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.

In 2015, with the help of Design Republic, Yelp moved their New York City offices from a cramped, uninspired space to a vibrant, fun-loving spread that reflects Manhattan and connects its staff members much the way Yelp as a company reflects and connects people to cities around the world.

We reached out to the team at Design Republic to find out more.

Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.
Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.

What is the address of the project?

11 Madison Avenue, New York, NY

Who was the building architect? 

Harvey Wiley Corbett and Dan Everett Wai

Who was the interior architect/designer?

Design Republic

When was the project completed?


Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.
Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.

What is the total square footage?

160,000 square feet

What is the square footage per person?


How many total employees are there and what’s the daily population?


Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.
Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.

What is the location’s proximity to public transportation and other amenities?

Located in the Flatiron District, the Yelp office is right off of Madison Square Park and within steps of an array of restaurants, shops and six subway lines.

The office itself includes a host of cool amenities, such as a coffee shop with on-staff baristas and a subway-inspired gaming zone, which mimics the seating of several train-line interiors.

What were the construction/hard costs per square foot?

The total construction cost was $20,000,000.

Which furniture brands/dealers were used? Please touch upon any notable products, how they were used, and if they solved a specific problem.

We used Knoll fence benching, Herman Miller ancillary, as well as many Open Line pieces in the collaborative spaces.

Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.
Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.

Is there a mobile work or work-from-home policy or are most of the employees there all day every day?

Most of the employees are here all day. Since most of the staff in these offices are on sales calls much of the day, it was important to create environments that would both enable collaboration and generate a sense of culture and community.

How is the company’s brand reflected in the space?

We approached the workplace design for Yelp very distinctly: We wanted the connections that Yelp provides those living in New York to be reflected in their office space.

Much like the city it was representing, the office needed to be broken down into easily navigable “neighborhoods”. You’re led to each neighborhood by its appropriate subway line, color-stained into the exposed concrete floor. Legends are placed throughout to guide employees and visitors alike. This playfully branded space embraces exploration, a sense of community and finding your new favorite place to meet up with coworkers.

Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.
Photo by Thaddeus Rombauer.

What is the most unique feature about the new space?

Like New Yorkers at large, Yelp employees also need spaces to commingle and to relax. After all, working within an open plan of hundreds of employees requires an escape from time to time. And these breakaway spaces take their cues from Manhattan. These communal spaces help to provide breathing space between neighborhoods—not to mention the obvious fun factor they add to the work day.

At the in-house coffee shop, staff baristas welcome you into a night bazaar-themed café, which also has the flexibility to open into a large training room for all-hands events. A kegerator bar can be found just around the corner, with a rotating selection of craft beers and a lounge evocative of the historic NYC High Line. Yet another hangout zone is a subway-inspired gaming zone, mimicking the seating of several train-line interiors.

If the company moved out of a previous space, what was the hardest aspect of change for people?

They were happy to move from their previous NYC office, as it was quite cramped and lacked the branding and vibe that the HQ office in San Francisco had.

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