The Plan

The Plan: Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer

Black floors off-set the predominantly white design of the office for a clean, and highly modern look. “It’s a beautiful space for lawyers,” said Mr. Spector, “who are not used to beautiful space." (Photo: Ben Gancsos)

When law firm Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer made the barely five block move from 120 Broadway to 100 Wall Street they took it upon themselves to adopt a radically new aesthetic for their two-floor, 40,000-square-foot space. The 40-year-old litigation firm turned to the Spector Group for an open-plan office that looks more Silicon Valley than big law.

“It’s a beautiful space for lawyers—who are not used to beautiful space,” said Spector Group principal Marc Spector. Read More

Design & Spec

Are You Ready for Some Retail?

When it comes to changing the face of a building—or even an entire neighborhood—there’s no denying the power of retail. Lately, Google has made headlines as it searches Soho for a flagship space. Likewise, the recent large-scale retail redevelopment at Brookfield Place at World Financial Center, a project we personally had a hand in as Read More


Exterior to Be Unveiled at WeWork’s Soho Digs

Old rendering of 175 Varick Street from the exterior architect on the project, Spector Group. Architect Marc Spector said the building is now more industrial and tech friendly.

The scaffolding will soon come down at WeWork‘s offices at 175 Varick Street, Marc Spector, a principal at Spector Group, told Commercial Observer, and the façade work will be completed by the end of March.

Spector Group was charged with creating an entirely new base to the exterior façade at 175 Varick Street for the national collaborative workspace provider. The upgrades include a dark grey grid façade and large portals of glass with black window mullions. Read More

Design & Spec

Pull Up a Chair: The Latest in Furniture Trends

Over the past few months, right here in this very column, I’ve discussed some of the most noteworthy trends in architecture. One area that has adapted with the times, in order to mesh more closely with the needs of today’s tenants, is furniture.

I know just how important furniture is to the finished look—and functionality—of Read More

Design & Spec

Practicing What We Preach

Last summer, Spector Group was in a very unique position: We became our own client. After being on the other side of the computer screen, designing office spaces for top-notch New York City companies, we relocated to 183 Madison Avenue and got to experience the whole process we guide our clients through firsthand—site tours, lease Read More

Design & Spec

Eight Great Questions to Ask on Site Tour

You’ve found an office space and it looks ideal—at least at first glance. Now it’s time for a more thorough walk-through, also known as a “due diligence site tour.”

So, what do you need to know, from an architectural perspective, before you commit? Here are eight questions to ask:

Can I See the C of Read More

Design & Spec

It Takes a City: Cooperation in Lower Manhattan Is Key

If ever there was an example of how cooperation was vital to a revitalization, it’s lower Manhattan.

And there’s no better illustration of that team approach than the creation of Brookfield Place at the World Financial Center. In order for that redevelopment to successfully move forward, we, as executive architect, worked alongside a world-renowned group Read More

Design & Spec

What Is Workplace Strategy?

 According to the Journal of Corporate Real Estate, workplace strategy is defined as the dynamic alignment of an organization’s work patterns with the work environment to enable peak performance and reduce costs. Increase productivity? Save money? I hope by now your ears have perked up.

In the commercial design world, workplace strategy is so much Read More

Sales Beat

Yeshiva University Flips Two Buildings in Latest Sell-off

Yeshiva's main campus:  500 W 185th St

Yeshiva University’s selling spree continues with the announcement that ClearRock Properties and Juster Properties have purchased two of the school’s Midtown Manhattan office properties for $29 million and plan to redevelop them.

One is a 93,700-square-foot, 12-story block-through office building at 9 East 38th Street; and the other is a 7,400-square-foot commercial townhouse at 14 East 39th Street with 22,200 square feet of air rights.

ClearRock announced that it has launched a $10 milion capital improvement program to reposition the properties with the help of architectural firm Spector Group, which will create new lobbies and upgrade façade, storefront, elevators, tenant corridors, restrooms and windows.  A “high-end pre-built program” will be implemented and a roof deck is also being considered.

“The redevelopment will add substantial value to the property, and give companies wanting to be near Grand Central a polished, boutique option at reasonable pricing,” said ClearRock Properties Managing Principal Steve Grant, in a statement. Read More

Cover Story



Two years ago, Bruce Ratner sought to ease a shrinking budget and appease swarms of critics who lambasted the original rendering for a residential tower at Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn as a “Lego-like” atrocity.

Like a frustrated schoolboy, he punted the plans to erect a set of oddly arranged giant blocks, shoving designer Frank Gehry Read More

The Plan

Check Out Pernod Ricard’s New Offices

Pernod Ricard

After signing an 82,000-square-foot deal for three floors—not to mention an option for a fourth—at 250 Park Avenue in May of last year, wine and spirits company Pernod Ricard’s new flagship space consolidated Pernod Ricard USA and Pernod Ricard Americas, which owns brands like Absolut Vodka and Jameson Irish Whiskey.

With the deal, the company now occupies floors 16 through 18, with a focus on the 17th floor, where an open layout and exposed, distillery-like environment commingle with a lounge and conference rooms.

“We’re loving this space—it came out so great,” said Scott Spector, principal of the Spector Group, which designed the space. “It’s one of the coolest spaces we’ve ever worked in on Park Avenue. Some will likely argue that the finished product is even cooler.”

After the jump, Mr. Spector reviews the furniture plans with The Commercial Observer and explains what, exactly, drew Pernod Ricard to 250 Park Avenue. Read More

Lease Beat

The Spector Group Drafts New Headquarters at 183 Madison Avenue

183 Madison Avenue

The Spector Group,  an architecture, interior design, and master planning firm, will be moving from their headquarters at 19 West 44th Street to 183 Madison Avenue.

The new space at 183 Madison will span 13,000 square feet, with an emphasis on keeping an open floor plan.

“It brings about a connectivity, an interaction, that I feel is necessary in a creative environment, such as what we are in,” said Scott Spector, principal of Spector Group. Read More

Lower Manhattan

Downtown Manhattan on the Up and Up

Downtown Manhattan.

For much of the past decade the only hope for a broker looking to make money off of Downtown office space was to do a deal like 70 Pine Street: Take a lavish 62-story Art Deco headquarters that was once owned by a spectacularly failed financial firm like AIG and turn it into opulent apartments where bankers would rather live than work.

Deals like 70 Pine Street, which instantly wiped off one million square feet from Downtown’s commercial real estate inventory when it was sold for $200 million in 2011, have been propping up statistics for the neighborhood’s office space market for years. Ever since large banks and financial companies started fleeing offices in the financial district, an influx of young families and bankers wanting to live Downtown, rather than just work there, have kept the vacancy rate from tanking even further by reducing the math on the supply end.

Now, say the brokers who have long suffered the horrors of Downtown’s commercial market, those residential conversions are starting to also pay off on the demand side. A flurry of infrastructure and amenities building to keep up with the new residents in the neighborhood is also making the area more enticing for large corporations to move in.

“It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario,” said Mark Shapses, executive managing director at Studley. “Downtown is seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.” Read More