Construction continues at One SoHo Square, poised to become one of the city’s most unusual office buildings. Developers Stellar Management and Imperium Capital are merging the 14-story Butterick Building at 161 Avenue of the Americas, built in 1904, with the ten-story, 1927 industrial loft next door at 233 Spring Street. The Gensler-designed development introduces a shared core between the buildings, as well as three new floors atop the Spring Street building. The project, above the Spring Street station of the C and E trains at the border of SoHo and Hudson Square, would offer 786,000 square feet of Class A office space.
The building rises 15 stories in its east wing and 13 stories in the west. The central core matches the height equivalent of 21 floors.
The 320,000-square-foot 161 Avenue of the Americas was built as the headquarters of the Butterick Publishing Company, a fashion design and magazine publisher founded by Ebenezer Butterick. He “revolutionized home sewing by creating the first multi-size sewing patterns in the world,” according to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, putting contemporary fashions and within reach of the lower middle class.
The edifice, designed by the architecture firm of Horgan & Slattery in the Beaux Arts style, was among the city’s fifty tallest buildings at the time of completion. Its position between the triangular spaces of SoHo Square and Father Fagan Park ensures a prominent presence on the avenue.
The 250,000-square-foot 233 Spring Street was one of the many high-rise lofts built throughout late 1920s in the waterfront neighborhood currently known as Hudson Square. Its sparse façade of floor-to-ceiling casement windows set between beige brick pillars features minimal ornament, reflecting the utilitarian purpose of the manufacturing facility.
The shared core fills a 20-foot-wide alleyway between the buildings, and eliminates redundant circulation elements such as lobbies, elevators, and staircases in the existing buildings.
The wide slab would join an emerging local skyline, where 111 Varick Street, 568 Broome Street, and 565 Broome Street would soon join the 484-foot-tall Trump SoHo Hotel Condominium, built across the street from 233 Spring Street in 2008. The hybrid design of One SoHo Square reads as a microcosm of the neighborhood, where some of the pre-war high-rises sport modern vertical extensions and abut modern towers.
At street level, the modern addition recedes behind the historic buildings, which would continue to read as distinct structures. The new core is set back from the sidewalk and slotted within the narrow alleyway, and the set-back upper floors would be obscured from many street view corridors.
Merging neighboring floors into single, continuous spaces is made impossible by incompatible floor heights and alignment. Instead, the buildings, joined like Siamese twins, function as separate entities, where a common lobby leads to separate elevator banks.
The historic exterior of 161 Avenue of the Americas, rebranded as One SoHo Square East, remains largely unaltered. High-ceiling retail replaces ground floor loading bays that once accommodated horse-drawn carriages.
Large skylights channel sunlight to the top floor. The unobstructed south facade looks upon the Financial District, and the upper floors look over the low-rise blocks of the historic districts of SoHo to the east.
233 Spring Street, now known as One SoHo Square West, would receive three new floors, with private terraces situated upon setbacks. An approximately 20,000-square-foot, landscaped roof deck would open upon vistas to the north, south, and west.
The developers purchased the two buildings in 2012 for $200 million. The project was revealed in 2014. At the moment, the shared core is topped out and awaits cladding, and the added floors at One SoHo West appear complete at the exterior.
Rents range from $80 to $125 per square foot at the property, which continues to acquire tenants. In March 2016, Real Estate Weekly reported that Managed by Q leased 26,022 square feet in One Soho Square East. In October, The Real Deal reported that MAC Cosmetics was in the process of leasing around 80,000 square feet in the west building.
Despite its name and location at the helm of the eponymous green space, One SoHo Square is more closely associated with the high-rise lofts of Hudson Square than the more residential blocks of SoHo. At the time of project conception, Hudson Square was still a peripheral zone congested with traffic bound for the Holland Tunnel entrance three blocks southwest. The 2013 rezoning, which encouraged residential construction in the former manufacturing district, coincided with an ongoing move of tech companies into the area.