To describe the Puck building as “Soho’s most notable landmark” — as the building’s marketing material does — might be a bit of a stretch. But the red-brick property at 293 Lafayette Street in Soho is certainly noteworthy thanks to its rich publishing history (Puck Magazine, 1871-1918) and its two cheeky little gilded Puck statues perched above the entrance and the northeast corner of the building.
It was Jared Kushner (Donald Trump’s son-in-law) of Kushner Companies who spearheaded the redevelopment of the formerly commercial Puck building to include six penthouses. Five of the penthouses replaced offices on the eighth and ninth floors, while Penthouse I (Roman numerals are en vogue at Puck) is spread across the newly added 10th and 11th floors.
At street level the Puck building is surrounded by high-end retail stores, and the residential entrance is easily missed. But when discovered it leads to a small lobby. “It’s very intimate,” says listing broker Deborah Grubman, “And people like that.”
A short elevator ride to the 10th floor, opens directly into the the duplex that is Penthouse I, all $58.5 million, 7,241-square-foot of it.
Almost immediately you’re greeted by the “skylit center hall,” which is exactly what it sounds like. The large skylight floods the room with light even on a dull day and makes its lavish hexagonal marble floors sparkle. Skylights feature heavily atop of Puck, and by my calculations if a room didn’t have a window – it had a skylight.
The lower floor of the duplex has a private wraparound terrace (Penthouse I has a total of 5,158-square-foot of outdoor space) with a gas fireplace and outdoor TV.
The kitchen has a La Cornue Château range stove (prices start at $40,000) and Italian lava stone countertops, and of course the wine cellar is temperate controlled. The master bedroom has two separate marble clad master baths – a feature springing up more and more often in new developments. As Grubman pointed out, if each of the kids usually gets their own bathroom – why not the adults? Why not indeed.
And the movie room is a nice addition.
The second floor of the penthouse houses two more spacious bedrooms and another terrace with a wet bar and hot tub.
Penthouse I is the only new addition to the building but architect Jose Ramirez made sure it stayed true to its history by incorporating identical windows, and mimicking the barrel-vaulted ceilings that appear throughout the rest of the building. Grubman explains that they “didn’t want to put a glass box on this building.”
In the other penthouses – the ones housed in the original structure – classic features remain, including brickwork, ceilings, beams, posts and interestingly, ash insulation (a method of insulation typical in buildings constructed in the late 1800s).
In comparison to a building like One57 the views from the Puck Penthouses don’t compare – if you peer out at the right angle you can peek at the Empire State building and you may catch a glimpse of the spire atop of One World Trade Center. Not to mention if you want a building with endless luxury services then this might not be for you.
But this penthouse is clearly not about its views or its amenities. Its rich history and downtown vibes are vastly different from the glitzy super-tall developments that are sprouting up in Midtown, and certainly what it lacks in facilities it makes up for in style and character. “Everyone has a little thing that turns them on.” Grubman explained, referring of course to real estate. For this envious reporter, it’s the Puck Penthouses.