The Plan

The Plan

The Plan: Neoscape at 256 West 38th Street

Neoscape ditched its previous office (only one-third the size) for a comfy atmosphere of roomy meeting rooms, living room (with furniture) a kitchen with beer tap and Ping Pong table (Photo: John-Michael Wilyat).

Real estate marketing agency Neoscape works alongside architects and developers to help them tell a story about a space. The company has collaborated with well-known real estate players, including Vornado Realty Trust, The Durst Organization, Extell Development Company and Tishman Speyer, to rebrand tired properties before being reintroduced to the market. Recently, the company used its expertise when designing its own office following a relocation to a 6,100-square-foot space at 256 West 38th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, for which it signed a seven-year lease.

Ryan Cohen, the principal of Neoscape’s New York City office, said that the firm appreciated its previous location at 18 East 17th Street near Union Square (the company’s headquarters is in Boston). However, the small, 2,300-square-foot studio couldn’t adequately accommodate the firm’s growth. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: The Factory in Long Island City

Many of the floors at The Factory have been kept as open space. (Photo: DBOX).

For a long time, the words “Long Island City” were simply code for warehouse/industrial wasteland. That’s all in the past, but it’s probably fitting that the next big office space in this Queens neighborhood should go by the name “The Factory.”

The Factory is Atlas Capital Group and Square Mile Capital Management’s 1-million-square-foot mammoth at 30-30 47th Avenue—taking up a full block bordered by 30th Place and 31st Street and 47th and 48th Avenues. The 10-story building is nearly completed after a yearlong overhaul that capitalized on the former textile warehouse. The smell of mothballs is gone from most floors (the building was owned by Macy’s and parts were used as a fur vault), but most of the building’s infrastructure has remained intact. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: High 5 Games at 1 World Trade Center

Another of High 5 Games' conference rooms.

It definitely got the “high” part down when this company signed a lease on an upper floor at the World Trade Center.

High 5 Games, the New York-based casino gaming company, opened its new headquarters on the 58th and 59th floors of 1 World Trade Center on April 27, and the company wanted the inside of its new office to reflect its business. It is simultaneously a serious, corporate environment in a maximum-security building and a creative space rooted in recreation. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: Teach for America’s New York Hub

Teach for America's new reception area includes digital screens to display its core values.

Teach for America, the popular program that prepares and places recent college graduates in underserved school systems throughout the country, had occupied offices at 519 Eighth Avenue and 315 West 36th Street in Midtown. But when these leases co-terminated, there was an opportunity to assess the city’s real estate market and the organization’s real estate strategy for its New York hub.

“We scoured the entire city [for space],” said Adam Wiseman, the managing director of facilities at TFA, who said the search took the organization from Brooklyn all the way up to Harlem. “It is difficult to be well located for us because we have teachers in all the boroughs.” Read More

The Plan

The Plan: BASIS Independent Brooklyn


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; 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