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Design Firm CallisonRTKL Moving HQ from SoHo to City Hall

Tenant Inks 10-Year Deal Totaling 28,000 SF, More than Doubling Footprint
June 1, 2018
Interior design and architectural consultant CallisonRTKL plans to head south this fall, relocating to the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway in New York City from its current headquarters in SoHo.

CallisonRTKL signed a 10-year lease for 28,000 square feet at the landmark neo-Gothic tower adjacent to City Hall Park with plans to move in October. Its new offices are to span the 16th floor. Asking rent for the space was in the high-$50s, according to sources with knowledge of the deal.

For the time being, the design consultancy remains in the two floors it leases at 148 Lafayette St. CoStar research shows it operating out of 11,985 square feet there.

According to CallisonRTKL Vice President Susan Soehnlen, the new space "boosts efficiency and collaboration" by allowing the company to consolidate into one floor. Soehnlen said it helped that "the building’s history contributes to our legacy in Manhattan."

CallisonRTKL has been in business for about a decade, with a portfolio of projects including the Intergate.Manhattan data center hub at 375 Pearl St., the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami, the 360 Mall in Kuwait City and the Gangzhou Military Hospital in China.

"We require a workplace that reflects our culture and accommodates our creative process and the Woolworth Building does just that," she said.

The early-20th century lobby of the Cass Gilbert landmark building features a mosaic barrel vault, a stained-glass skylight, marble walls, murals, plaster grotesques and bronze furnishings. An imposing early skyscraper cast in stone and terra cotta, the tower continues to be an iconic part of the city's skyline.

CallisonRTKL "was seeking more efficient space with a flexible lease and the opportunity to grow," said JLL Managing Director David Dusek, who was part of the team representing the firm. "The Woolworth Building offered a full floor of highly-efficient space with abundant light and air, high ceilings and extraordinary views overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge."

The Woolworth Building is home to other architectural design firms, including SHoP Architects, NK Architects and Urban Architectural Initiatives. The 805,975-square-foot office condominium is helmed by the New York City Police Pension Fund as its largest tenant, with 56,196 square feet of space, according to CoStar research. The building also houses a significant residential portion.

It stands 792 feet and was the tallest skyscraper in Manhattan when it came online in 1913. In 1998, Witkoff Group acquired the property from the Venator Group, formerly the Woolworth Corp. for $126.5 million, or $157 per square foot, according to CoStar data. For $68 million, Witkoff would sell 107,000 square feet toward the top of the building to residential developer Alchemy Properties in 2012.
See CoStar COMPS #350710 and #2527723.

  For the Record: David Dusek and Mitchell Konsker with JLL represented Callison RTKL. Acting on behalf of building ownership was The Lawrence Group’s Barry Pincus and Brian Siegel.

Diana Bell, New York City Market Reporter  CoStar Group   

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