Developers Tout Their Green Credentials As 300 Lafayette Street Takes To The Sky

Developers and architects are hoping high-net-worth tenants will be persuaded by eco-friendly design.

By Jeff Vasishta March 29, 2017
Photo courtesy of COOKFOX

Biophilia. It’s an odd, vaguely rude sounding word. It means feeling good through being connected to nature. In real estate terms, it translates to an abundance of green fauna. Plants from wall to wall. The developers of 300 Lafayette Street on the corner of East Houston Street are betting big on biophilia. They hope prospective retail and office tenants will part with their cash, lured by the hip Soho location and an opportunity to relax in their green oasis.

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Currently a huge crater in the street where the foundation is being laid, the $200 million project will feature 53,000 square feet of office space and 30,000 square feet of retail upon its expected completion in 2018. The site was previously occupied for many years by gas station. The latest building permits indicate the structure will rise 123 feet to its roof. Crain’s reported that Midtown-based real estate investment and development firm LargaVista Cos has teemed up with Related Cos. on the project which comes with a a lot of outdoor space and a glassy design that brings the outside in.

The architect/designer COOKFOX states on their website that they are “dedicated to a vision of integrated, environmentally responsive design.” They “believe good design is sustainable” and “are committed to being wise stewards of our shared natural and cultural resources.” The company also adds, “we pursue architecture that restores, regenerates, and elevates our collective experience of the urban environment.”

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The architects feel that the new structure will be a strong advocate for their green design principles, stating, “300 Lafayette’s ornamental flourish will replace natural analogues with living plants, a fifth façade of restorative green space rarely available in workplace environments. Minimal frames, biomimetic patterns, and green terraces and balconies will create articulation and depth on the façade, while maximizing access to natural light. These restorative green planes will be visible from nearly every workplace and from the shared urban space of the street to promote health, well-being and productivity.”

Crain’s reports that the office space component of the property will target tenants like hedge funds, private equity firms and tech firms seeking state-of-the-art offices in trendy locations. However, no anchor tenant is in place. With prices likely to cost $150 per square feet, tenants are likely to want to see the finished article before making a commitment. And who can blame them?

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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