Architecture and design firms have specific needs when it comes to their office space. Such businesses require much more square footage per employee than law firms, tech firms, or financial services companies. Architects and designers work with wide-format printers, plans, and models requiring lots of space. This inevitably translates into a higher rental cost. While Soho offers unique loft space that works well for architects and interior designers, commercial rents were costly in these buildings due to high demand. As a result, these professionals were priced out of Soho pre-pandemic.
However, Manhattan in 2022 is a tenant’s market. Landlords are much more open to negotiations and concessions, such as increased build-out allowances and free rent. Average asking rates are lower, the selection of available space is greater, and consequently, Soho is now much more affordable for architects and designers. However, finding the right space can still pose a challenge.
What architects and designers want from an office space
First of all, location matters. Architects and designers are creative minds that thrive working in a vibrant, lively, visually-pleasing environment. That’s why such businesses are drawn to neighborhoods like Soho, the Meatpacking District, or Flatiron. The former industrial warehouses in these areas have been converted to loft-style office spaces that can accommodate businesses of all sizes.
The next deciding factor for architecture and design firms looking to rent office space in Manhattan is light – especially natural light. A poorly-lit, crowded office on the ground level will not work for professionals in design and architecture, as they prefer access to as much natural light as possible to view and develop their projects. Buildings that feature large, floor-to-ceiling windows on upper floors will have better success attracting companies in this sector.
High ceilings and open, column-free spaces allow designers and architects to work on multiple projects simultaneously and fit whiteboards, drawing boards, 3D renderings, and models of their work. Architects utilize oversize printers for their plans, therefore requiring open spaces to accommodate equipment, supplies, and storage for plans and models. At the same time, they need large tables to showcase their work and brainstorm. An open layout provides flexibility, allowing teams to use the space to fit the project at hand, whether working individually, in small groups, or on large teams.
Besides open spaces that encourage communication and collaboration, professionals working in design and architecture also need private spaces. This includes private offices for client meetings or areas dedicated to focused, uninterrupted individual work. Landlords will usually agree to build out these spaces on behalf of a new tenant. Tenants will further configure their space using dividers, modular furniture, standing desks, and so on.
Why Soho is a great fit for design and architecture firms
Soho is one of the most sought-after NYC neighborhoods for creative companies involved in architecture, design, fashion, media, and communications. Representing the heart of Midtown South, the Soho neighborhood is rich in history and architecture, and it buzzes with activity day and night. Before being converted to commercial office space, most of these buildings were industrial warehouses and factories. But they still retain their original charm and aesthetic, inspiring modern-day architects.
The neighborhood has a relaxed and casual vibe, catering to young entrepreneurs and professionals with a creative flair. With historic architectural landmarks on every corner and the streets lined with shops, restaurants, and art galleries – Soho provides depth, richness, lust for life, and a passion for the arts. It’s the perfect destination for design professionals and architects looking to be inspired daily and mingle with like-minded creative individuals. The neighborhood is home to numerous art galleries, designers, and architecture firms, who get to network during a coffee break, a lunch break at a nearby restaurant, or a walk in a park.
When it comes to renting creative office space fit for architects and designers, Soho is the best choice. Most of the buildings lining its streets are former low-rise manufacturing hubs or industrial warehouses converted to loft-style office space. They feature spacious, open-floor layouts, high ceilings, oversized windows, exposed brick, polished concrete, and abundant natural light. SoHo does not have any supertall skyscrapers nearby to block natural light and views. As a result, businesses enjoy plenty of sunlight and exquisite city views from the upper floors.
Soho office buildings fit for design & architecture tenants.
Numerous architecture and interior design firms are operating in Soho. Some include SHoP Architects at 233 Broadway, OMA and GRANDE Architecture + Interior Design at 180 Varick Street, HKS Incorporated at 107 Grand Street, Lang Architecture at 285 West Broadway, Sawyer and Company at 580 Broadway as well as Studios Architecture at 588 Broadway.
An essential advantage to renting office space in Soho is the wide range of options that you have available as a tenant.
Soho can accommodate startups in the market for sub 2,000 square foot space. The neighborhood also has large chunks of commercial office space up to 75,000 square feet. In terms of pricing, Soho is significantly more affordable than other office hubs such as Grand Central, Hudson Yards, Chelsea, or Flatiron. Demand for office space in the area has been pushing prices up in recent years. But you can still find modern, loft-style office space for as little as $60 per square foot or even less.
100 Crosby Street
This historic property at 100 Crosby Street was built in1884. It offers an excellent option for creative firms in the architecture or design fields. Designed by Thomas Stent, this building offers 175,000 square feet of office space across six floors. Amenities include operable, double-insulated, floor-to-ceiling windows, 20,000-square-foot floor plates, abundant natural light, open-floor layouts, and access to public transportation via the nearby Lafayette, Spring, and Prince Streets. The boutique Soho building once housed the upscale Dean & DeLuca store, and is now home to Empire Entertainment, Thrive Global, Soho Cognitive, and Converse on the ground floor. Andre Tchelistcheff Architects also occupies 1,500 square feet of office space at this location.
100 Crosby Street can accommodate creative tenants of all sizes. Early-stage startups to large companies looking for full-floor space are welcome in the building. Three spaces are currently available for rent, ranging from 1,949 to 4,578 square feet.
This 250,000-square-foot, Class B Soho building at 594 Broadway is an excellent fit for architects and designers looking to rent loft-like office space in Soho. Amenities at the 12-story building include 17,000-square-foot floor plates, double-insulated, tenant-operable windows, abundant natural light, and ground-floor retail space. There are currently eight loft spaces available for rent, ranging from 587 to 10,524 square feet. Architectural Preservation Studio leases 1,810 square feet on the ninth floor. The Architectural League of NY occupies 3,082 square feet on the sixth floor. And Asfour Guzy Architects rents 1,700 square feet on the 12th floor. Other tenants include Nest Seekers, Breather, Staged, and fashion label Desigual.
270 Lafayette Street
This 207,000 square foot, Class B property at 270 Lafayette Street is another good option for architecture and design firms interested in renting offices in Soho. It features upgraded lobbies and elevators, 24/7 security and 24/7 building access, and proximity to public transportation. This former factory building has high ceilings and support for heavy floor loads. There are currently four spaces available for rent, ranging from 950 to 1,812 square feet. Tenants at 270 Lafayette include Ferguson & Shamamian Architects, which occupy 11,400 square feet on the third floor, bonetti/kozerski architecture, and Wettling Architects.
The Prince Building at 568-578 Broadway is a good option for architects and designers, being a former manufacturing facility that features high ceilings, large windows, and open-style floor plates. The 354,603-square-foot Class B property boasts 28,000-square-foot floor plates, 12-foot-high ceilings, as well as exposure on two sides. The building has an attended and recently renovated lobby with 24/7 security. Property management is on-site. An Equinox fitness center is on-premises, and the building features an atrium. Tenants include Thomas Jim, Peter J. Antinoro Architects, Apostle, Group Nine Media, and SkinCare Lab. Currently, 568-578 Broadway offers office space for rent ranging from 2,938 to 15,274 square feet.
Are you thinking of setting up your business in a convenient location in Manhattan? Are you looking to lease space in a modern building offering state-of-the-art amenities? To learn about available office or retail space, call Metro Manhattan Office Space at (212) 444-2241 or email us at [email protected]