SHoP Architects Doubles Space in Move to Woolworth Building as Business Booms


SHoP Architects, one of the city’s leading architecture firms, has signed a 15-year, 30,500-square-foot lease at The Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway, where it will relocate in the fall from its headquarters across the street.

The Woolworth Building, c. 1913

The move to one of the city’s most storied buildings seems suitable for an architecture firm that has climbed the ranks among the city’s elite, landing high profile jobs across the boroughs while continuing to dream up images that could shape the future.

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Just this week, the Municipal Art Society unveiled plans by four premier architecture firms for a revamped Pennsylvania Station, with SHoP’s renderings calling for a sculpture garden and art exhibition space, above a bright and airy concourse that the firm said uses “navigability” as a guiding principle.

The firm has landed lead roles at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center and the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 — the plans for which were approved by City Planning in February and earlier this year it teamed up with Phipps Houses and Monadnock Construction to break ground on Related Companies’ first phase of Hunter’s Point South in Long Island City, Queens, where the partnership is building the first two towers of a seven-tower complex, which will be 37 and 32 stories high, for a combined 925 units.

The firm also released renderings on behalf of The Two Trees Management for development plans at the site of the former Domino Sugar Factory on the Williamsburg waterfront in March, a development that will house between 3,000 and 4,000 office workers, tripling the amount of office space in that commercial district.

The plethora of assignments was likely cause for the relocation and expansion, which roughly doubles the firm’s previous space, though SHoP Architect Principal Gregg Pasquarelli could not be reached, as he did not return The Commercial Observer’s calls seeking comment in time for publication.

But industry sources said the firm will take the entire 11th floor in the landmarked building, which stood as the tallest building in the world when it was completed in 1913.

The 57-floor, 792-foot building was completed in 1913. One of the oldest skyscrapers in the country, it was constructed in neo-Gothic style by architect Cass Gilbert, who was commissioned by Frank Woolworth in 1910 to design the tallest building in the world for F. W. Woolworth Company‘s new corporate headquarters.  It remained the tallest building in the world until the construction of 40 Wall Street and the Chrysler Building in 1930.

Last August, Alchemy Properties paid $68 million in a deal with building owners – the Witkoff Group and Cammeby’s International – to turn the top 30 floors of the building into 40 luxury apartments, including a five-story trophy penthouse.

Brian Segal of The Lawrence Group represented the landlord in the deal, while Mary Ann Tighe and Gerry Miovski of CBRE (CBRE) represented the tenant.  Mr. Segal and a CBRE spokesperson did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.