By Brian J Pape, AIA
Built for manufacturing and warehousing ca.1911, this building dominates the full block of Washington Street, and sports a roof terrace with unobstructed Hudson River views for now. 95 Morton Street is the main lobby address for the office uses in this 220,000 SF, fully leased building. Capital Real Estate Ltd. has its name set in concrete at the street wall, although RFR Realty LLC, founded by Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs, is the current property manager. At 117 Barrow Street there is a separate lobby for Venmo and its parent company Braintree, which had long established itself on the 5th floor; PayPal acquired Braintree in 2013. When PayPal split from eBay in 2015, PayPal headquarters occupied the 6th floor, and then expanded by two more floors here in 2018, leasing 95,000 SF total. Auditorium seating for about 100 persons is visible from the Washington Street windows, along with lounges and gymnasium and a bike garage (but no car garage). Not surprising, catered complimentary breakfasts and lunches were offered, plus free snacks, at least pre-pandemic.
A sign on the loading dock door next to PayPal’s lobby advertises retail space available of 878 SF ground floor and 16,123 SF on the lower level.
The extent of current repairs include restoration of brick coursing and parapet walls, plus roof work for mechanicals and terraces, ensuring that this will be a desirable business address for years to come.
On the left side of the photo, the salmon colored brick façade of 111 Barrow Street is stylistically intact, matching the 1911 building except for slightly darker brick. This original Vita Herring Factory was built in 1920, and converted to condominiums ca. 1987, for 39 loft units and the luxury of a 24-hour doorman and common roofdeck, thoughtfully designed with separate outdoor rooms.
The east storefronts of this portion of the block feature the Bright Horizons pre-school at 644 Greenwich Street, while an NYU housing facility at 636 Greenwich Street occupies the southeast corner of the block.
In total, this block of loft buildings features the deliberate effort by various enterprises over years of development to harmonize the architectural style of the disparate buildings, so that they match floor levels, height, building materials, window scale, and even parapet ornamentation.
In the right foreground are the West Village Houses from the 1970’s.