Architecture Firm to Leave SoHo for lower Manhattan Digs

By Keiko Morris Features Dow Jones Newswires

Architecture and design firm CetraRuddy is planning to relocate its office to a lower Manhattan tower, joining the flow of firms that have diversified and revitalized the area over the last several years.

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CetraRuddy signed an 11-year lease to move its offices from the SoHo neighborhood to One Battery Park Plaza, which is across the street from Battery Park, according to the building's owners, a joint venture of the Rudin family and Allianz Real Estate of America.

"You are seeing the continued movement of architectural and design firms downtown," said Bill Rudin, chief executive of Rudin Management Co.

Downtown Manhattan recently has been on an upswing, recording 2.3 million square feet of leasing in the first quarter this year and capturing five of the 10 largest Manhattan leases during the period, according to real estate services firm JLL. Among the biggest transactions was the 378,000 square-foot lease deal signed by digital music company Spotify to relocate from Chelsea to 4 World Trade Center.

In the first quarter, downtown's vacancy rate fell to 10.4% from 11.1% in the same period last year.

One Battery Park Plaza is almost fully leased. A little more than a year ago, the joint venture upgraded the 870,000 square-foot tower, redoing the lobby and installing new elevator cabs. CetraRuddy expects to relocate with its 108 architects and designers at the end of 2017.

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"When we moved to Soho 30 years ago it was the new frontier," said Nancy J. Ruddy, CetraRuddy's co-founding principal and executive director of interior design, in an emailed statement. "And we're glad to move to New York City's growing nexus of pioneering design ideas."

Write to Keiko Morris at Keiko.Morris@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 11, 2017 16:34 ET (20:34 GMT)