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XOO 325 exterior photo credit: Robert Granoff; Interior photo credit: Neal Beckstedt Studio XOO 325 exterior photo credit: Robert Granoff; Interior photo credit: Neal Beckstedt Studio
Joe McMillan has done it again. McMillan, founder and CEO of real estate and development firm 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 UK 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 group of children awaiting entry into the United States from the “Unframed, Ellis Island” exhibit) on the side of 100 Franklin in Tribeca.
Neal Beckstedt Studio Living room in the pop-up shop residence (Neal Beckstedt Studio)
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.”

The end goal is to sell the unit fully furnished but until then everything on display is for sale.

McMillan and Beckstedt have created is 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 digital storefront. Encouraged by his experience, Beckstedt is at it again in SoHo’s XOCO.

CityRealty spoke to Neal Beckstedt about this new concept. Read the interview below:
xoco soho Exterior photo of XOCO 325 by Bruce Damonte; Interior via Neal Beckstedt Studio
CR: Where did this idea originate?

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 the forefront of developers. He gets that design is a huge part of living and that is 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 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.
xoco soho Kitchen (Neal Beckstedt Studio)
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?

Basically, until the unit is sold. There are a few interested buyers for the fully furnished apartment right now, so we’ll see.
soho apartments Living room (Neal Beckstedt Studio)
Neal Beckstedt Studio Famiil room (Neal Beckstedt Studio)
325 west broadway Master bedroom (Neal Beckstedt Studio)
CR: And will you do this again?

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 in 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?

I would absolutely love to own my own store. This is like the baby, baby step before exploring that.
xoco325 (Neal Beckstedt Studio)
Neal Beckstedt Studio Etntry Detail (Neal Beckstedt Studio)
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Additional Info About the Building

Contributing Writer Michelle Sinclair Colman Michelle writes children's books and also writes articles about architecture, design and real estate. Those two passions came together in Michelle's first children's book, "Urban Babies Wear Black." Michelle has a Master's degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and a Master's degree in the Cities Program from the London School of Economics.
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