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Build New York’s Most Creative Community

601 West 26th Street looms over the Hudson. Its stacked towers and undulating facade occupy a full city block. It’s one of Manhattan’s largest premier office properties and home to some of the city’s most powerful creative companies—but isolated in Chelsea, with few neighborhood amenities and an emerging, commercial Brooklyn market, Starrett-Lehigh had to fight to rebuild its reputation and tenant base.

We developed an in-depth understanding of the building’s users: the creative class. Working with RXR Realty, CO OP launched a brand that came to life through actions which demonstrated a shared set of values between the building and its tenants. We redirected investment dedicated to superficial infrastructure improvements towards the creation of a community that creatives couldn’t afford to not be a part of.starrett-lehigh-placemaking-branding-23

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CO OP repurposed Starrett-Lehigh’s original freight elevators to program food trucks through the building. This novel, marketable solution to West Chelsea’s lack of F&B amenities additionally relieved the strain on the building’s dated passenger elevators, and created an opportunities for tenants to meet, interact, and build community.

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“CO OP has become an integral part of our team as we seek to transform one of New York’s most iconic buildings. They have developed an in-depth understanding of the building’s users and its surrounding community that has enabled them to strategically reflect that character into the building’s brand identity. Their creativity and commitment to excellence has enabled us to accelerate our business plan and greatly outperform our expectations. They have been true partners in the process.” —Scott Rechler, CEO & Chairman, RXR Realty

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Creatives value inspiration and collaboration. We galvanized the individual creative prowess of tenants like Martha Stewart, McGarryBowen, and Tommy Hilfiger under the unifying call of “Manufacturing Creativity”; with tenant events and all-star panels, Starrett Lehigh became more than a place for successful companies, but a powerful creative leader in of itself.

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Partner Point of View

This project was about understanding our audience and taking on an "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" attitude. Our client wanted to spend millions on cosmetic improvements to the interiors; their tenants liked the worn, heritage look and feel of the place. So, we rerouted that investment towards ideas and events that actually sparked activation and drew attention to New York's most creative community.