Geographically, Soho (short for South of Houston) is fairly small -- a chic rectangle in lower Manhattan, bordered by Houston Street and Canal Street on the north and south, and by Lafayette Street and Sixth Avenue on the east and west. In terms of its significance in Manhattan’s culture, though, Soho looms large -- in its transition from bohemian hub to an epicenter of high-end retail and luxury living, Soho’s growing-up process has paralleled that of Manhattan as a whole. One of those neighborhoods in Soho that has changed is Nolita, yet the area still manages to retain the charm it had in the past. Through it all, Soho has stayed cool -- and remains a shining example of all that makes Manhattan Manhattan. Famously home to some of the city's elite art galleries and luxury shopping, Soho is also home to a host of luxury condominiums, as well as its trademark loft apartments.
Soho lofts were originally 19th-century cast-iron buildings used as warehouses and factories, and the aesthetics of the classic Soho loft -- big windows, high ceilings, open floor plans -- have become the preferred look for new construction NYC condos as well. As Soho has gentrified -- and it has really gentrified, with ultra-exclusive nightspots, Michelin-starred restaurants and high-end boutiques making themselves at home on its cobblestone streets -- Soho lofts have become some of the most sought-after condo listings in Manhattan. There’s good reason for that -- new loft-style condo conversions such as 211 Elizabeth Street and 151 Wooster Street offer classic Soho loft looks and contemporary luxury condo comforts. New construction luxury condos are harder to find on Soho’s streets, as many of the historic buildings are protected landmarks, but what new construction condos there are in Soho have impressive pedigrees -- One York is a model of new construction luxury, while Trump Soho provides all the opulence and non-restraint synonymous with the Trump name. The condo listings in Soho are many things, but conventional is not one of them. Which fits, because of all the words that could be applied to Soho -- from trendy to timeless, posh to bohemian -- "conventional" is certainly not one.