For the 2nd year, Crains New York business is featuring the coolest offices in New York. To become eligible, offices needed to have been opened, renovated or modified between January 1, 2018 and March 31st 2019. Dozens of candidates submitted photos and descriptions of what makes their office cool. Crains was seeking spaces that showcase the latest trends and are built for the future of work.
15 Winners and finalists were selected in 5 categories: new construction, retrofit, amenities, décor and collaborative space.
The winner for coolest retrofit is BSE GLOBAL, located at 168 39th Street, Brooklyn/ Industry City. BSE GLOBAL took an older space and made it cutting edge. The sports team and venue management company opened it’s 79,000 square foot Industry City office last June. The space contains a town hall, a game room and bleacher seating for large events. Employees can work from their desk or in common areas with panoramic harbor views. Architect TPG Architecture and Contractor JRM Construction Management.
The winner in the coolest collaborative space category is M Moser Associates, an Interior Architecture firm, located at 100 Broadway. Their desks, couches and chairs can be reconfigured easily for presentations and meetings. A finalist in this category is AECOM, located at 220 36th Street, Brooklyn/Industry City. AECOM’s converted warehouse made the cut thanks to its large counter height tables, open lounge area and abundant board space for employees to work together. Architect AECOM Interiors & Industry City and Contractor WJP Builders Corp & Industry City.
In the coolest décor category, BOOKING.COM took the top spot. Their 53,000 square foot workspace has Meeting rooms named after streets and neighborhoods in the 5 boroughs and large photos of the Coney Island Cyclone and other city hot spots. The online hotel reservation company also tried to capture parts of the city by commissioning a graffiti mural near the elevators. A finalist in this category is WHAT IF, located at 219 36th Street, Brooklyn/Industry City. Plant life is not very plentiful in New York offices, but WHAT IF’s 14,500 square foot Brooklyn space is filled with plants and wood furnishings creating an atmosphere in tune with nature. This management consulting firm’s office windows have impressive views of The Statue of Liberty & the harbor. Architect Design Republic and Contractor SPK Lewis.
The winner in the category of coolest amenities is The Campari Group, located at 1114 Sixth Avenue in New York. The Italian spirits distributor relocated its North American HQ from San Francisco to The Grace building in Midtown Manhattan in November, constructing an experiential office. There are 4 bars offering Campari products to employees and guests and an innovation lab, where mixologists and visiting brand ambassadors create craft cocktails. Away from the main space, employees can work in an open layout at unassigned desks. Architect Gensler and Contractor J.T. Magen & Co.
The winner in the category of the coolest new construction is IEX GROUP, located at 3 World Trade Center/ Financial District. This company’s new office has a futuristic feel, with a silver sheen across the 44,000 square foot space, with vast meeting spaces. IEX GROUP may be the future of trading.
In an effort to create both a cool and productive office environment, employers are looking to technology to help them craft a smart office. For example, employers want to know which sections of the office see the most foot traffic and there are phone tracking beacons that monitor how employees interact. Technology can identify patterns and offer solutions from data gathered.
Scott Rechler, chairman & CEO of RXR Realty, one of the city’s largest landlords says “tenants want their needs anticipated before they even know they want something and the only way to do that is through tech”.
Co working firms have been early adopters of smart tech, because they operate in an especially competitive segment of the office market where innovation is considered essential to attracting tenants.
Analyzing how a tenant uses office space is not just for companies obsessed with peak productivity. The technology is an increasingly necessary component in helping employers pack in more workers per square foot, a cost cutting measure many businesses have taken in the city in recent years. Technology is helping office tenants thread the needle, giving them real time data on employee behavior and productivity to create or adjust layouts and compensate for tighter confines.
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