Breather Launches On-Demand Workspace Concept at 135 Bowery

A building with a controversial past has become the newest New York location for Breather, a startup that provides on-demand meeting rooms in 10 cities worldwide.

Last night, there was a celebration on the fifth floor of 135 Bowery, where Breather has set up four flexible spaces that can be rented by the hour. It’s the Canadian-based firm’s 100th location in New York City. A press release boasts that Breather is “fulfill(ing) a significant demand for flexible and commitment-free workspaces, shared by professionals, tech companies, business travelers, remote workers (and) creatives.”

Last year, Caspi and RWN Real Estate Partners paid 16.2 million for 135 Bowery. The new building replaced a 194 year-old federal row house. City Council member Margaret Chin blocked the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission from designating the property in 2011. The building is being marketed as a tech startup hub. Caspi also purchased 161 Bowery for a similar purpose. The press release said Breather’s debut marks, “the revitalization of the storied address and the shifting face of the neighborhood as a whole.”

A couple of years ago, Patrick Lau of First American International Bank (the former property owner) told The Lo-Down that the new owner would be required to set aside the third floor for use as a community facility, with rents set 20% below market prices. We do not know if that space has been leased.

There are at least two other substantial co-working firms operating on the Lower East Side — Projective Space (where The Lo-Down happens to be based) and The Yard. Those concepts, however, are focused on monthly rentals, rather than Breather’s hourly model.

This morning on Breather’s website, hourly prices for rooms at 135 Bowery range from $45-80.