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Street art ‘godfather’ heralds dawn of new Bowery building

Joshua Caspi (right) and Shepard Fairey

Caspi Development has teamed up with street artist Shepard Fairey to outfit a 20,000 s/f mixed-use Bowery property with a bold new mural. 

The Purchase-NY developer said the artwork matches “a contemporary, turnkey workplace that inspires creativity, collaboration, and productivity.ˮ

Fairey is considered the godfather of the street art scene, and is best known for creating the famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster and ubiquitous “Obey” campaign featuring Andre the Giant.

Now, Fairey’s work will adorn the seven-story property at 161 Bowery, a building Caspi bought earlier this year with a bold plan create modern office space for tech tenants.

Now the structure has a rooftop lounge with summer kitchen and congregating area, along with beer on tap and kegerators, positioning it as an attractive full-floor loft space for burgeoning tech and creative companies.

Other amenities include a high-speed elevator, bicycle work stations and suspension chairs, and conference tables that double as ping pong tables.

Caspi Development signed with WiredNYC to make 161 Bowery one of the first boutique office buildings with redundant fiber services.

The building’s original roller gate – some nine-feet tall and decorated by English street artist Ben Eine – will hang in the lobby.

The Bowery - it's now hip to be there.
The Bowery – it’s now hip to be there.

161 Bowery was designed by Andres Escobar, and Gallin Beeler Design Studio served as architects. Daniel Levine and David Falk of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank are handling leasing.

“We are delighted to be working with Shepard Fairey on this project,” said Joshua Caspi, principal of Caspi Development.  “We acquired 161 Bowery with the goal to develop inspirational office space for creative groups, and we feel Shepard’s message captures the essence of our concept.”

“There’s an exciting movement sweeping New York City centered on reinvigorating older buildings,” said Tim Shopa, project manager with Caspi Development.

“We wanted to create a lifestyle office space with all the bells-and-whistles – a place that appeals to millennials. 161 Bowery is perfect for growing companies that need space quickly and without a headache.”

The artwork – which features a phoenix and the phrase “We Own The Future” – was painted by hand by Fairey and his team, who used boom trucks and stencils over a five-day span in late August. The project was coordinated by the Little Italy Street Art Project (LISA).

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