Office space in SoHo is at a premium. SoHo is one of the most popular neighborhoods on the planet to rent office space. Short for South of Houston Street, the upscale neighborhood exudes style, luxury, art, and New York City culture. SoHo enjoys a rich and varied history. It began as a manufacturing area transitioned to a hub for artists and then evolved into one of the most expensive and in-demand locations to live, play, work, shop, and eat in Manhattan.
Notable tenants in SoHo include e-commerce, retail, technology, media, and financial services companies such as Warby Parker, Two Sigma Investments, DigitalOcean, FourSquare, Harry’s, Thrive Capital, Group Nine Media, Accenture, Wieden + Kennedy, and WeWork Labs. It also has a thriving small business community.
What Our Brokers Say About Soho Office Space for Lease
SoHo is quite aesthetically pleasing with its cobblestone streets; spacious lofts with large windows; and cast-iron buildings. In fact, SoHo has the world’s largest collection of cast-iron buildings—many of which have memorable facades and fire escapes. Large warehouse windows welcome in plenty of natural light.
SoHo’s famous retail community offers everything from street corner vendors to small boutiques to international importers. The northern area of SoHo provides space for most of the neighborhood’s chain outlets. SoHo has a growing startup community, and many of the small businesses popping up are in retail or e-commerce. Clothing store Everlane and shoe manufacturer Allbirds are two examples of companies that rely heavily on e-commerce but have chosen to open brick-and-mortar locations in SoHo. Last fall, Amazon established its brick-and-mortar location, Amazon 4-star, here. Who knew you could buy Amazon products in a physical location? You can in SoHo.
Though many people immediately equate SoHo with shopping opportunities, retail isn’t the only thriving industry in the neighborhood. It’s also a tech hub. Its prime location in Manhattan, excellent access to transportation, and enviably talented workforce have attracted many technology companies to the neighborhood, including widely-known Internet news site and discussion forum Reddit. WeWork Labs, which creates shared workspaces for small companies and tech startups, also has a team in SoHo. WeWork’s efforts contribute to both the tech industry and the growth of the neighborhood’s startup community.
SoHo isn’t all business. It also offers plenty of amenities for employees to enjoy. For business lunch recommendations, be sure to check out our SoHo Lunch Guide. Need a local gym? Look up one of these Yelp-recommended options in SoHo: Equinox SoHo, Drive495, SLT SoHo, or ZenGirl Fitness. SoHo also offers several iconic food and shopping destinations. For example, visit the historic Fanelli Cafe that’s been around since 1847, peruse the shelves at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, or look through some locally made products at Artists and Fleas SoHo.
Soho Commercial Space For Lease | By the numbers
|Office Space for Rent||Price per square foot|
Soho Office Space | Lease Data & Trends
Though office space costs more to rent in SoHo than it does anywhere else in NYC, it’s still one of the world’s most sought-after areas to do business. The average asking rent for all office spaces in SoHo is just over $108 per sqft. The next most expensive neighborhood in NYC, Hudson Square, is more than $10 cheaper per square foot. Office space seekers can find Class A and Class B office spaces available for rent in SoHo.
Overall, SoHo houses nearly 4.9 million square feet of office space, and almost 8 percent of it is vacant and ready to be rented. As of Q1 of 2019, developers were adding just over 500,000 square feet of office space to the neighborhood.
SoHo offers slightly more Class B office spaces than Class A. About 12 percent of the Class A spaces are vacant. Those looking for Class A spaces in SoHo can expect to pay an average of $121 per square foot. Class B spaces in SoHo are notably cheaper to rent at just above $72 per square foot, but the vacancy rate for those spaces is lower at 5 percent.
Getting Around: Transportation in Soho
SoHo is located in Lower Manhattan and touches the districts of Greenwich Village, East Village, Little Italy, Tribeca, and Chinatown. Like many areas of NYC, SoHo boasts excellent public transportation but deals with some serious traffic congestion most of the time.
SoHo is easily accessible by train. The 1, 6, A, C, E, N, R, J, and Z trains pass through the neighborhood, as well as the PATH train, making SoHo easily accessible from Brooklyn, Queens, and nearby suburbs. Additionally, many regional buses such as MegaBus and Boltbus have stops along 6th Avenue. Employees who need to travel for work can take the PATH train to Newark or the A train to John F. Kennedy (JFK) Airport.
Walk Score awarded SoHo a Walk Score of 100. SoHo is NYC’s 10th most walkable neighborhood. In a lot of ways, it’s better to just tackle the cobblestone streets on foot rather than trying to get around by car. SoHo, like the rest of Manhattan, suffers from debilitating traffic, so we recommend alternative means of transportation whenever possible. However, SoHo is close to the Holland Tunnel, allowing for relatively quick access to New Jersey, Newark Airport, I78, and I95.
If driving does become necessary, read this one-page summary of SoHo parking locations and tips. In particular, note that Hudson, Washington, and Greenwich Streets offer some free parking from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, Hudson Street, 7th Avenue, and 6th Avenue provide one-hour metered parking for $3.50 per hour after 5 p.m.
The large number of tourists exploring the streets can make for a less pleasant bike ride than other parts of the city. For less traffic, cyclists can take the Hudson River Greenway, a 12.9-mile biking and walking trail along the Hudson River. Commuters using CitiBike can dock at any of the near-dozen stations in the neighborhood, some of which hold as many as 45 bikes. Employees based closer to the popular shopping streets may have a more difficult time finding an opening to dock their bike, especially during the warmer weather months.
Top Commercial Properties For Lease In Soho
The high demand for SoHo office space results from neighborhood’s prime location, access to subway lines, amenities for employees, and proximity to the city’s other major business districts. Read about some of SquareFoot’s most popular real estate listings in SoHo: 42 Greene Street, 568-579 Broadway, and 594 Broadway.
42 Greene Street: Built in 1900, this gorgeous five-story, two-building landmark has large windows, hardwood floors, and a bright, spacious interior. It is located in NYC Storm Zone 4. It houses 47,621 square feet of office space, but right now one unit that is 3,185 square feet in size is vacant and available for a new tenant. 42 Greene Street has a Walk Score of 100 and is easily accessible by trains A, C, E, N, R, Q, J, and 6. People working in this location certainly won’t go without coffee. Le Pain Quotidien, Starbucks Broadway & Grand, Milux Cafe, SoHo Cafe, and Nicaraguan Joe Cafe are all .1 miles or less away from the property.
568-578 Broadway: Originally built in 1895 and formerly called the Havemeyer Building, 568-578 Broadway is now a prominent NYC landmark located close to the corner of Broadway and Prince Street. It has 12 floors and 300,000 square feet of office space. Currently, five units ranging from 1,476 square feet to 6,802 square feet in size are available to rent. At some point, P.T. Barnum, Boss Tweed, and Foursquare all worked out of 568 Broadway. Today, most of its tenants are technology firms. Current tenants include Thrillist, ZocDoc, and 10Gen. The interior of the building gets plenty of natural light, thanks to the high ceilings and huge windows. 568-578 Broadway has a Walk Score of 98. Get to 568-578 Broadway via trains N, R, B, D, F, M, 4, 6, J, and Z.
594 Broadway: 594 Broadway was built in 1897 and stands in the heart of SoHo on Broadway between Houston and Prince Streets. It houses 210,900 square feet of office space. Eight units ranging from 722 square feet to 3,410 square feet in size are currently available to rent at 594 Broadway. This location is particularly popular with design and tech companies. Notable tenants include The Architectural League of New York, Creative Media Marketing, and Genesis Cos. VillageOne, a coworking space, signed a lease there last fall. 594 Broadway has a Walk Score of 98 and a noise index of .73. Access this property via trains R, W, B, D, F, M, and 6. Take a brisk walk in the morning to get coffee at Bite or visit Fanelli Cafe for lunch.
SoHo Neighborhood History
SoHo’s history dates back to when Lower Manhattan was a Dutch settlement known as New Amsterdam. The land that now houses SoHo office space was the first free black settlement on the island, given as farmland to freed slaves of the Dutch West Indies Company.
By the mid-19th century, large commercial shops such as Tiffany & Company and Lord & Taylor had popped up in the area. During this time period, a number of the neighborhood’s iconic cast iron buildings were constructed. Shortly after the Civil War, SoHo became a hub for textiles, manufacturing, and dry goods distribution. However, following World War II, many manufacturers moved south, leaving SoHo warehouses and factories empty.
As these businesses left the area, SoHo fell into a decline. In the 1950s, artists began moving into the loft-style buildings, taking advantage of cheap rent; large, open spaces; and an abundance of natural light. This marked the beginning of the culture and style that we now associate with SoHo. In 1963, city planner Chester Rapkin created the SoHo moniker when he used the term to indicate “South of Houston” in a report. In addition to being an abbreviation of South of Houston, SoHo’s name is a reference to SoHo in London’s West End. SoHo’s naming convention became the model for renaming emerging and re-purposed neighborhoods throughout the city, such as Tribeca, DUMBO, NoHo, Nolita, and NoMad. The naming convention is also used across the country to rebrand commercial and residential redevelopment zones.
Also in the 1960s, developers devised a plan to build a highway connecting the Williamsburg Bridge and Holland Tunnel; this plan was shot down, saving the neighborhood.
By the 1970s, thousands of artists lived in the neighborhood, and the decades have seen the likes of Andy Warhol, Philip Glass, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Twyla Tharp, and David Bowie, who all resided in SoHo at one time or another. Changes in zoning laws over the past 30 years have drawn in more affluent residents and raised both residential and commercial real estate prices. However, more than 600 buildings are designated and protected by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.