Law and Order

Gallery Files $10M Wrongful Eviction Suit at Savanna, Manhattes Development Site

540 West 26th Street.

Lehmann Maupin Gallery is suing the landlord of 540 West 26th Street for illegal eviction, and is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $10 million, plus punitive damages, according to court documents.

That is a site where Savanna, The Manhattes Group and the Silvermintz family are looking to tear down a two-story building, which is home to the gallery, and an adjacent lot and erect a large commercial and office project with community facility space, as New York Observer previously reported.  Read More

Mortgage Observer

Cornerstone Lends $92.5M on Office Portfolio

Soundview Plaza

Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers, a subsidiary of Massachusetts Mutual Life Company, lent $92.5 million to Pennsylvania-based real estate investor and manager Keystone Property Group, according to a press release from brokerage HFF, which arranged the deal.

Keystone will use the proceeds of the three-year, floating-rate loan to upgrade several Connecticut and Westchester County, N.Y. office properties it recently acquired in a J.V. with Mack-Cali Realty Corporation. Read More

Labor Day

On Labor Day, Do You Know Where the CRE Pros Are?

A beach near Southampton circa 1955. (Evans/Three Lions/Getty Images)

Labor Day marks the end of the summer doldrums, as real estate professionals take their last hiatus before settling in for the busy fall season.

Commercial Observer checked in with New York City commercial real estate brokers to see what they have cooking for this Labor Day holiday. Two are headed to the U.S. Open, one will be teaching his daughter to play bocce at home and another will be in Paris scouting out retail locations for a client. Read More

Food & Drink

NYC Restaurants’ ‘Scarlet Letter’

8 Photos

Mr. Publicover takes the temperature of a pie.  (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Austin Publicover is waiting with one of his clients for her hearing at the city’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Health Tribunal in Lower Manhattan. His client, a Noho restaurant owner, is antsy. She wants to get back to work and is eager to contest the “C” sanitary inspection rating she received from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“If [my restaurant] has a ‘C,’ all of the restaurants in the city should shut down,” the proprietor, who requested anonymity for fear of reprisal, said while seated in the waiting area. She was also hit with a recommended fine of $2,235. Read More

Wrecking Ball

Silverstein Seeks Demo Permit for Hudson Yards Tower [Updated]

Rendering of 520 West 41st Street

Larry Silverstein‘s Silverstein Properties is seeking a permit to demolish a Hudson Yards building, according to a Department of Buildings document. That would pave the way for the developer’s planned mixed-use tower, which would soar 1,100 feet into the sky.

Attorneys for Silverstein Properties presented their case for changing the zoning of the Hudson Yards site at 520 West 41st Street in the proposal’s first public hearing at the Department of City Planning at the end of last month, as Commercial Observer previously reported.  Read More

Lease Beat

Lenny’s Unveils ‘Lenwich by Lenny’s’ Name at New Locations

The proposed storefront at 459 Park Avenue South.

Unable to trademark “Lenny’s” outside of New York City, the sandwich chain’s proprietor has introduced a new name: “Lenwich by Lenny’s.”

That’s the name that will appear on the front of Lenny’s 18th location, at 459 Park Avenue South at 31st Street, when the deli opens in three months. And that’s the name that can be found at the location that opened today, at 202 West 40th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues. Read More

Law & Order

Contractor Charged With Defrauding Workers at Former Brooklyn Hospital

Site of the old St. Mary's Hospital at 170 Buffalo Avenue.

A Brooklyn contractor who promised permanent jobs and health care to more than 70 workers who helped him perform construction work at a former hospital has been charged with defrauding them of more than $100,000 in wages, the Brooklyn district attorney’s office announced.

Over a three-month period ending Feb. 1, 2013, Anthony Miller, 51, and his firm, Bael Out Enterprises, also known as Bale Out Enterprises, hired more than 70 people to perform demolition and construction work at the old St. Mary’s Hospital, at 170 Buffalo Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The hospital closed in 2005. Mr. Miller allegedly told workers that he planned to convert the building into a center for veterans’ services, with housing, a medical clinic and daycare. Read More

Lease Beat

MTA Shrinks, Renews Lease Near Penn Station

469 Seventh Avenue.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is consolidating with a renewal of 34,000 square feet, or just half of its existing space, at 469 Seventh Avenue between 35th and 36th Streets.

The transaction includes the entire 11th and 14th floors in the 16-story, 270,000-square-foot building, The New York Post first reported. Marty Meyer, one of the building owners, told Commercial Observer the MTA is reducing its space from four floors to two.  Read More

Sales Beat

Brookland Assembles Park Slope Development Site for $7.4M

550-554 Fourth Avenue in Brooklyn.

Brooklyn-based Brookland Capital has scooped up a Park Slope development site at 550-554 Fourth Avenue at the corner of 15th Street from three different sellers for $7.4 million.

Brookland is plannning to erect a new 13-story condominium with 45 residential units plus retail on the ground floor at the site, said Boaz Gilad, a partner with Brooklyn Capital. The developer hired New York-based architecture firm Roart to design the building. Twenty percent of the condo units will be affordable, Mr. Gilad said. Read More

Lease Beat

Servcorp Takes 35K SF at 1 WTC

One World Trade Center

Servcorp, a global provider of equipped executive offices and virtual office space, has signed a 15-year lease for 34,775 square feet on the 85th floor at 1 World Trade Center. The lease marks the fourth Manhattan location for the Australia-based company. Servcorp represented itself in yesterday’s transaction and The Durst Organization‘s Robert Becker represented Durst, according to the New York Post, which first reported the deal.

Featuring boardrooms, private offices and private workstations, Servcorp’s 1 World Trade Center location will open in the first quarter of next year, Durst and The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said in a release. The Port Authority developed the 1,776-square-foot tall, 3-million-square-foot office building and Durst operates and leases it. Read More

Sales Beat

Charles Cohen Ventures Downtown With Movie Theater Buy

34 West 13th Street.

Cohen Brothers Realty‘s Charles Cohen has bought the Quad Cinema in Greenwich Village. It marks the first time the company’s president and chief executive has closed a deal downtown.

“I’ve never done anything south of 32nd Street,” Mr. Cohen told Commercial Observer. “I thought given its location and its potential and what my purpose is for it, it was ideal.” Read More

Lease Beat

North Shore-LIJ Takes Space in UES Condo

170 East 77th Street.

North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System has inked a 10-year lease for nearly 6,000 square feet on the Upper East Side.

The deal, which was signed at the end of July, gives North Shore-LIJ 5,936 square feet for office and medical usage on the ground floor at The Diamond House, a residential condominium at 170 East 77th Street. Read More

Conversion

Sun Sets on One of Three Sunshine Flophouse Buildings

241 Bowery.

One of the Sunshine Hotel buildings that used to house the destitute on the Lower East Side is now being converted to offices.

Hotel owner Roseann Carone of Harlen Sales hired MG New York Architects to convert the second and third floors at 241 Bowery in the three-story building into commercial lofts. Together the floors comprise 8,938 square feet. Michael Gadaleta, the founder of MG New York Architects, said the Sunshine Hotel residents, which have been reduced to 30 or 40, occupy the complex’s neighboring building, 239 Bowery. Read More

Coming back to life

Columbus Square Crumbs Given Second Lease On Life

Crumbs cupcakes.

The new owners of the Crumbs Bake Shop chain are reopening the Columbus Square location, the first cupcake shop to come back to life since the chain’s dramatic closure last month followed by a Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection filing.

Crumbs will reopen next month at 795 Columbus Avenue at around 99th Street in Columbus Square, an apartment building complex consisting of five buildings, after coming to an agreement with the landlord, the New York Post reported.  Read More