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The Plan

The Plan

The Plan: BASIS Independent Brooklyn

completedchemistrylab

When completed, the private school BASIS Independent Brooklyn will sit near the New York Bay waterfront in Red Hook. But much of the five-story building will have been constructed 145 miles to the west in New Holland, Penn.

The new institution, which has already opened to grades kindergarten through eighth but will add high school classes over the coming years, used modular construction to build its $40 million,100,000-square-foot school. Creating the building, which will house 1,000 students, involved 163 modular building blocks, 2 million pounds of steel and 614 cubic yards of concrete floors. Shipping costs alone exceeded $1 million. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

As Brooklyn continues to become the destination of choice for New York’s 56.4 million annual visitors, there has been unprecedented demand for hotel space in the borough. With 667 rooms, the 27-story New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is Kings County’s largest hotel. The Downtown Brooklyn chain, which sits at 333 Adams Street, opened in 1998 and doubled its size in a 2006 expansion. However, in order to remain competitive, its owners, Muss Development, Marriott International and Homefed Corporation, felt that it needed to be reconfigured.

“We needed to reposition it as the leader in Brooklyn,” said Jeff Kay, the chief operating officer of Muss Development, which built the property. “We consider ourselves at the center of Downtown Brooklyn.” Read More

The Plan

Wow Factor: PureWow’s New Office at 1261 Broadway

PureWow's lobby, which uses matte black wallpaper from CB2.

Any digital media company that calls itself “PureWow,” should have an office space that seeks to impress.

PureWow—a site that targets older millennial and Generation X women looking to “elevate the everyday” and touches on everything from fashion, health, cooking and travel—has seen explosive growth in its readership. Since launching in September 2010, the company has grown to reach more than 5 million readers per month across multiple platforms; purewow.com enjoys 2 million monthly uniques and has watched its audience increase 500 percent in the past 12 months. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: Peloton Headquarters at 158 West 27th Street

Peloton headquarters at 158 West 27th Street.

The spinning invasion of Manhattan is old news. Indoor cycling studios blanket entire neighborhoods and many of the city’s beloved gyms offer multiple classes a day. But fitness company Peloton has gone the extra mile, offering classes with its custom bike inside one’s apartment.

“[Our bike] allows members to take a live or on-demand spin class whenever they want,” said John Foley, the chief executive officer of Peloton, which was founded in 2012. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: Urban Justice Center at 40 Rector Street

U.S. Senator Cory Booker spoke at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the
Center at 40 Rector Street in Lower Manhattan.

The Urban Justice Center knows how to trade up, real estate-wise.

In 1984, a few years after his graduation from law school, Doug Lasdon received a $25,000 grant from the New York Community Trust to create the Urban Justice Center, a legal services organization for some of New York City’s poorest residents. He set up his new multi-service not-for-profit in a burned-out building in East Harlem. By 1997, Mr. Lasdon’s organization was operating out of a 7,700-square-foot floor at 666 Broadway that he had bought for $600,000. Ten years later, he sold the property for a handsome profit of $5.7 million. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: Engel & Völkers New York Office at 430 Park Avenue

Engel & Volkers office in New York.

Engel & Völkers, the Hamburg, Germany-based real estate company that focuses on luxury residential properties, commercial real estate and yachts, has enjoyed a robust presence in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Having focused and developed its business in those key global markets, the firm has recently begun to pivot towards North America and expanding its presence on this side of the Atlantic.

“[Clients would say] we’ve done business with you in Zürich. We’ve done business with you in Hong Kong. Now, we want to do business with you in New York,” said Stuart Siegel, the president and chief executive officer of Engel & Völkers New York City. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: Valrhona Hits Sweet Spot in Dumbo

Doors already opened to a 1,600-square-foot coffee and snack bar supplying the building’s tenants and visitors with food and drink (Photo: Michael Nagle/for Commercial Observer).

Valrhona, the chocolate producer whose name is a nod to its head office location in France’s Rhône valley, relocated its U.S. office and next month officially opens l’École du Grand Chocolat, a school for professionals and enthusiasts, at 222 Water Street in Dumbo.

The 93-year-old company opened a local office in 2008 at 45 Main Street in Dumbo. But the 1,200-square-foot space had one significant deficit: no kitchen. Valrhona is well known for supporting customers with instruction and inspiration; it has training facilities at its headquarters, as well as in Tokyo and Versailles, France. Read More

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

The Plan

The Plan: 1400 Broadway [Updated]

A newly added 1,000-square-foot terrace with views of the Empire State Building, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty.

A penthouse suite with sweet views of the city is available for lease at Empire State Realty Trust’s 1400 Broadway with a rent of $75,515 per month.

ESRT has converted the top two floors of the building between West 38th and West 39th Streets from multi-tenant space to one contiguous unit, with a newly added 1,000-square-foot terrace with views of the Empire State Building, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: 1156 Avenue of the Americas

Credit APF Properties.

A Midtown building constructed in the early part of the 20th century is getting upgraded for the 21st. APF Properties will implement a four-month, $4 million renovation by Sydness Architects at its 1156 Avenue of the Americas property starting next month, APF Principal Kenneth Aschendorf told Commercial Observer. The nine-story structure on the corner of West 45th Street will be outfitted with a new glass entrance, a new lobby with ceilings twice its current height, new elevators, a new security system and multiple improvements to its office floors, Mr. Aschendorf said.

“We find that there are a lot of tenants out there who want the prewar feel and the prewar architecture, but they want a top-quality building,” he said. “Even tenants in non-creative fields are looking for more prewar space. We decided to do something that was more than cosmetic.” Read More

The Plan

The Plan: 1560 Broadway

1560 Broadway

Three is better than one—in buildings as much as anything else. Landlords SL Green Realty Corp. and Jeff Sutton at 1552 Broadway and Newmark Holdings and the Benenson Family at 1560 Broadway tapped Rosen Johnson Architects to figure out a way to link their two buildings, and smush in a third in between the two (which was demolished). Rosen Johnson principals Paul Rosen and Anthony Johnson designed an innovative new scheme for the space with great retail potential just off Times Square. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: Now What at 155 Avenue of the Americas

Now What's office space.

When Paul Barnett founded branding and marketing company Now What in 2004, he was the sole employee, making working out of his apartment on the Lower East Side economical and feasible. Since then, the company has ballooned to 30 people and has worked with high-profile clients including Google, ESPN, NBC, General Motors and Novartis. Yet Mr. Barnett remained adamant that his office still retained the warmth of a home.

“There’s no division between in-work and out-of-work,” said Mr. Barnett. “As a millennial, the people you work with are considered family. There’s no big division between work-time and home-time.” Read More

The Plan

The Plan: View the Space’s Office at 142 West 36th Street

View the Space's office at 142 West 36th Street.

View the Space, a cloud-based commercial real estate leasing start-up, has moved into its new digs after slumming it on West 30th Street. The firm’s new space, designed by The Mufson Partnership, spans 7,400 square feet on the entire 12th floor at Herald Square Properties’ 142 West 36th Street just off Broadway.

VTS was delivered turnkey space with exposed ceilings and ductwork as well as polished concrete floors. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: 635-641 Avenue of the Americas

635-641 Avenue of the Americas

SL Green Realty Corp. is nearing completion of its 12-month, $15 million renovation and recombining of what used to be two separate buildings at 635-641 Avenue of the Americas between West 19th and West 20th Streets, Steven Durels, the company’s director of leasing and real property, told Commercial Observer. The company owns two of the three buildings that used to comprise one department store in the Ladies Mile Historic District after architect William Hume completed it in 1902. And shortly after purchasing the two buildings for $173 million in 2012, SL Green set about turning the building at 635 Avenue of the Americas, which had become an auto mechanic instruction school, into the second half of a repositioned office property. “When we bought the building, it was apparent to us that there was the opportunity to create something special,” Mr. Durels said. The building at 641 was already a complete office building. Read More