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In SoHo, Historic 568 Broadway Becomes Beacon for New York City Tech Start-Ups

Foursquare. Thrillist. ZocDoc. 10gen. While commercial real estate observers have touted Midtown South’s emerging “Silicon Alley” as the place to be for tech tenants, together these home-grown, New York City-based technology start-ups have quietly leased a collective 110,000 square feet at the historic, 12-story 568 Broadway in SoHo.

Located at the northeast corner of Prince Street, the former Havemeyer Building was constructed in 1895 as a sewing factory and is a New York City landmark. But that’s not driving the attraction within Gotham’s start-up community: the George Post-designed tower’s spacious 28,000-square-foot floor plates are perfect for encouraging the type of collaborative working environment that technology companies crave. And 568 Broadway’s highly desirable location in SoHo – adjacent to multiple subway lines – is also a major selling point for tenants that are competing in a hot global market for technical talent.

Still, rents at 568 Broadway have languished in the $40 to $50 per square foot range through the downturn, so it’s unclear whether other start-ups will be afford – and enjoy – its 12-foot ceilings as the market starts to improve. But, for now, 568 Broadway’s tech tenants will continue to open up their spaces for events and other synergistic efforts – even if they’re 20 blocks south of the action in Midtown South.

A bit of history about 568 Broadway: it stands on the former site of Niblo’s Garden, which was once one of New York City’s oldest theaters. Built in 1827 as the Sans Souci theater, the building was rebuilt several times after fires until it was razed for good in 1895. Beginning in 1852, the theater itself was part of the Metropolitan Hotel – one of the city’s highest end hotels during the 19th century – and where the Japanese Crown Prince stayed during a visit to New York in 1860.

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