The Real Deal New York

Former Facebook director leases space at 2 Gansevoort for tech startup

Serkan Piantino’s company Spell is leasing space on the seventh floor of the building
By Eddie Small | July 24, 2018 12:30PM

Serkan Piantino and 2 Gansevoort Street (Credit: LinkedIn and Rubenstein)

A former Facebook director is moving his tech startup focused on artificial intelligence to 2 Gansevoort Street.

Serkan Piantino, co-founder of Facebook’s artificial intelligence research team and the former founder of its New York office, signed a 3,604-square-foot lease for his company Spell at the landmarked office building, according to the William Kaufman Organization, which has owned the property since 1948.  Asking rents were $95 per square foot.

Spell, which focuses on developing artificial intelligence and infrastructure for deep learning, is the first tenant to sign a lease in the Swivel portion of the building on the seventh floor.

Kaufman introduced Swivel at 2 Gansevoort Street in February. The concept combines private office space with communal amenities, such as lounges and meeting rooms. Each private office includes its own rotating wall that companies can “swivel,” reconfiguring the space. Kaufman plans to launch more Swivel locations at its properties in Lower and Midtown Manhattan.

Piantino founded Spell in 2017, and it should move from its current office at 100 Avenue of the Americas in August. About 12 employees will work in the new location.

The building at 2 Gansevoort Street was built in 1912, and Kaufman recently completed renovating the building’s lobby and front entrance. Tenants include Theory, Coronado Biosciences and Kobalt Music, which leased 23,000 square feet in the building last summer.

Sage Realty Corporation, the leasing arm of Kaufman, landed a $97 million mortgage for 2 Gansevoort Street from New York Life Insurance Company earlier in July.