Joseph A. McMillan, Jr. has done it again. McMillan, Chairman and CEO of DDG, the developer of noteworthy buildings such as 180 East 88th, 12 Warren and The Standish, continually finds new ways to deliver products that stand out in the fast-growing Manhattan landscape. This time he has developed his own interior design pop-up shop in his recently-finished XOCO 325 building in SoHo.
Despite being in the building business, McMillan always thinks outside of the box. DDG once wrapped an entire construction site, at 345meatpacking, with artist-phenom Yayoi Kusama’s Yellow Trees to celebrate their entrance into the Whitney Museum neighborhood. They commissioned English graffiti artist Ben Eine to decorate the scaffolding at 325 West Broadway (aka XOCO 325) during construction. And they installed an enormous 95’ x 88’ black and white photograph by JR (of a group of children awaiting entry into the United States from the “Unframed, Ellis Island” exhibit) on the side of 100 Franklin in Tribeca.
Unsurprisingly, McMillan has a brand new, creative concept — an interior design pop-up in a four-bedroom unit at his XOCO 325 building. According to DDG, “Neal Beckstedt Studio transformed the expansive four-bedroom home into an elegant retreat infused with modern sophistication and ease. Known for his signature laid-back warm modernism and his integration of architecture and decoration, Neal has designed a casually elegant space that is uniquely downtown.”
McMillan and Beckstedt have created a cool, insider-esque pop-up with a relatively under the radar, (sort-of) invitation-only way to buy Beckstedt’s personal collection of vintage furnishings and accessories.
Pop-up shops are all the rage. They are cool because of their temporality, their word-of-mouth marketing buzz and their exclusivity. Because of all of this, pop-up shops create an urgency in a buyer to get in fast and not miss out.
Beckstedt‘s first foray into selling his curated design in an untraditional way was after he sold some key furniture pieces from his installation at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House on a 1stdibs.com digital storefront. Encouraged by his experience, Beckstedt is at it again in SoHo’s XOCO 325.
CityRealty spoke to Neal Beckstedt about this new concept. Read the interview below:
CityRealty: Where did this idea originate?
Neal Beckstedt: I’ve known Joe for a few years but the right project just came along and he reached out to us. Joe is really on the forefront of developers. He gets that design is a huge part of living and that it also makes good business sense. The people in New York City have a very high level of understanding of design and materials. When they come to look at units, they often come with their architects and designers. Usually, with developers, you always have the battle of trying to make them understand that if they made it nicer from the beginning, the buyers would not have to renovate. That’s never the case with DDG’s buildings.
CR: How can people see your pieces?
NB: All they have to do is call my office and make an appointment. Either I, or a member of my team, will meet them at the building and give them a tour of the unit.
CR: How long will this pop up be on display?
NB: Basically, until the unit is sold. There are a few interested buyers for the fully furnished apartment right now, so we’ll see.
CR: And will you do this again?
NB: Definitely. I think this pop-up concept will catch on with other developers, especially in Manhattan where the buyers, and everyone who has a home or an apartment in the area, are really sophisticated. They know what is out there. You can’t just throw rental furniture in a model unit anymore. You must decorate it in a thoughtful and curated way. I think the concept is a win on all fronts, for the developer, designer and buyer.
CR: Do you want to own your own store?
NB: I would absolutely love to own my own store. This is like the baby, baby step before exploring that.