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Broadband in the Bowery: 161 Bowery Gets Connected

Building Spotlight, CRE Tech Leaders, High-Tech Buildings, Landlord Spotlight, Raising the Bar | Victoria Graham on April 13, 2015

When New Yorkers think about Bowery, they usually think of street art, music and grunge – definitely not office space. But Westchester-based developer Caspi Development, owner of 161 Bowery, is looking to change that. The 161 Bowery building is the legendary Bowery neighborhood’s very first office space for modern tech tenants. And while the 100-year-old building sits on a street that’s been designated on the National Register of Historic Places, the building itself boasts ultra-modern fixed wireless connectivity, fiber technology and a coveted Wired Certified Silver rating.

It took high-end technology and a little creativity to bring fiber into such a historic and underserved area. Cutting-edge, micro-trenching technology was used in the streets to bring fiber into the building. What's micro-trenching? “Micro-trenching is a state-of-the-art and cost-effective technique to bring high-speed internet service into hard-to-reach buildings that aren't located in well-connected areas,” says WiredScore’s Operations Manager John Meko. “Without micro-trenching, major street construction would be needed to bring fiber into the building. In this way, we’re helping older buildings in underserved areas compete for today's tech tenants.”

20,000-square-foot 161 Bowery’s micro-trenching and full tech reconstruction makes it one of the first boutique lifestyle office buildings with best-in-class redundant fiber services. “There's an exciting movement sweeping New York City focused on reinvigorating older buildings, and we’re thrilled to have earned a Silver Wired Certification, which helps us lure the types of high-end creative tech tenants we’re looking to attract.” said Caspi Development’s Project Manager Tim Shopa.

The seven-story building was designed as an inspirational lifestyle workspace with high tech and creative office tenants in mind. 161 Bowery boasts a rooftop lounge with summer kitchen, beer on tap and kegerators, along with full-floor loft space ideal for growing tech and creative companies. Other innovative and hard-to-find amenities include bicycle work stations and suspension chairs, and conference tables that double as ping pong tables.

"161 Bowery is perfect for growing companies.” said Caspi Development’s Leasing Manager Daniel Levine. “It's very rare to have a fully-renovated, state-of-the-art and Wired Certified building, not only in this part of town, but that will cater to smaller and mid-size tenants. That’s why we’re so delighted to announce our recent Wired Certification – it really sets us apart in this market.”

And even though it features best-in-class connectivity, 161 Bowery is still keeping a little of that historic grunge and street edge in its redesign. The building commissioned acclaimed street artist Shepard Fairey, best known for creating the famous Barack Obama "Hope" poster and ubiquitous "Obey" campaign, to create a bold, imaginative mural that adorns the side of the building. And the artwork - which features a phoenix and the phrases “We Own The Future” and "Transform Our World With Creative Response" - was hand-painted by Fairey and his team over a 5-day span. The mural matches 161 Bowery’s image as an innovative, unconventional workplace that inspires creativity, collaboration, and productivity.

Shepard Fairey's 161 Bowery mural, in progress at the end of the first day. Shepard Fairey's 161 Bowery mural, in progress at the end of the first day.

 

WiredScore’s John Meko explains, “In New York areas like the Bowery and many of the outer-boroughs, it used to be a struggle for commercial building owners to get the internet bandwidth that their tenants need. But now that companies are moving out of the traditional Lexington/Madison/5th Avenue office buildings and into revitalized offices in more livable neighborhoods like Brooklyn, Midtown South or Lower East Side, it’s causing a geographic shift in demand for high-speed internet.” With tech pioneers like Caspi Development and tech hubs like 161 Bowery leading the way, the Bowery neighborhood’s future as a tech hotspot looks bright. 161 Bowery’s Shepard Fairey artwork proclaims “We Own The Future”. In the case of 161 Bowery, this couldn’t be more true.

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