The New 396 West Street
Repurposing 396 West Street
To provide a more intimate alternative to all of the new office buildings going up in Chelsea and Hudson Yards, we’re repositioning a client’s landmarked low-rise residential property as an office building, taking advantage of its historic architecture and expansive views of Hudson River.
396 West Street is a handsome neo-Renaissance building dating from 1904. Standing only about 250 feet from the Hudson River, it has uninterrupted views of New Jersey and easy access to river-side parks—but according to FEMA, it also stands within a high-risk zone for flooding. Fortunately, this designation allows Aurora to take certain liberties with 396 that can increase its resiliency: Aurora can remove the street-level retail from floor area calculations and transfer it to a roof structure. Recognizing this as an opportunity, Aurora reached out to our firm to see how we could reposition 396 from a 14,400-sf residential building to a 16,000-sf commercial office building with a penthouse suite, and provide potential tenants with a much more boutique office experience compared to the large-scale office buildings that have been going up in Chelsea and Hudson Yards.