Mortgage Observer

Citigroup and others to lend $1.45B to SL Green, as REIT raises cash for new deals

388 Greenwich Street

The financial musical chairs at Citigroup’s Tribeca offices continue. The multinational financial services firm signed a contract in December to occupy and possibly buy two buildings, 388 and 390 Greenwich Street, which it already occupies. Now, the bank is also lending a whopping $1.45 billion to the current landlord, SL Green Realty, according to a report from Bloomberg News today.

That loan–which reportedly includes bundled funds from Barclays Plc, Wells Fargo and Bank of China—will be packaged into bonds set to hit the market next month. Read More

Cover Story

Breaking Barriers: Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy on Cassidy Turley’s Star Turn

Richard Bernstein and Peter Hennessy. (Photo: Mike Nagle)

“If I could knock this wall down I would,” said Peter Hennessy, pointing through a glass enclosure that separates his office from a row of open workstations within the 42nd floor of Cassidy Turley’s 277 Park Avenue offices.

Mr. Hennessy, the tristate president at the firm, will likely get his wish if Cassidy Turley continues to literally and figuratively break down the barriers that once separated its business lines by expanding the consulting practice that he and Richard Bernstein, the firm’s executive vice chairman and principal, said is crucial to the company’s future. Read More

Power Broker

Mega Millions: Sam Sidhu of Megalith Capital Management

Sam Sidhu. (Sasha Maslov)

Deep in the midst of the market downturn, Samvir Sidhu, a veteran of Goldman Sachs and Providence Equity, was thinking about where he could capitalize once the market inevitably turned. Examining real estate, the native Pennsylvanian identified the residential and multifamily sectors as areas of opportunity.

With his strategy in mind, Mr. Sidhu, who goes by Sam, began raising money from family offices and other high-net-worth investors for a real estate investment fund shortly after leaving Providence Equity. In 2009, Megalith Capital Management was born. Read More

Lease Beat

Big East Conference Moving to Big Apple

Providence forward Kadeem Batts (10) dunks on Xavier's Matt Stainbrook (40). (Credit: Frank Victores, USA TODAY)

The Big East Conference is betting on the Big Apple to help usher in a new era.

The reconfigured conference has chosen The Durst Organization’s 655 Third Avenue in Midtown as its official headquarters after cutting a 10-year, 13,742-square-foot lease across the seventh floor of the 30-story property. Read More

The Sit-Down

Gale Brewer and the Battle Against 7-Eleven

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in her 1 Centre Street office.

Gale Brewer has lived on the Upper West Side since 1970. She served as the area’s City Council member for 12 years, concluding at the end of 2013, before starting as the 27th Manhattan borough president. Ms. Brewer, who plans to open a ground-floor district office on West 125th Street, joined with city preservationists earlier this month to call for reforms to the landmarking process following the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to consider landmark status for the Rizzoli Bookstore building at 31 West 57th Street. As Manhattan Beep, Ms. Brewer is tasked with advising the mayor and City Council on borough concerns, providing feedback on all land-use matters, advocating for New York County in the municipal budget process and appointing members of the 12 community boards. Ms. Brewer successfully advocated for the passage of legislation while in the City Council that would compel landlords to fix repeat violations as well as a law that requires all city data be published online. In February, Commercial Observer chatted with Ms. Brewer in her office at 1 Centre Street about adjusting to her new position, her beef with 7-Elevens and the easiest and most challenging developers to work with. Read More

Lease Beat

Alcoa Renews Lever House Lease

Lever House.

Alcoa has signed a renewal for its 21,452-square-foot space at RFR Realty’s Lever House at 390 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The global lightweight metals engineering and manufacturing company occupies the entire seventh and eighth floors of the building. The term of the lease was not disclosed. Read More

On the Market

GFI Realty Services Asking $2.85M for Williamsburg Residential Property

377

GFI Realty Services is marketing a four-story, 7,000-square-foot residential building at 377 South 1st Street in Williamsburg for $2.85 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

The property, made up of eight two-bedroom apartments, is two blocks east of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and two blocks west of the intersection between Grand Street and Union Avenue, near popular neighborhood hangout Barcade and a plethora of other restaurants and nightlife options. Read More

Sales Beat

Peter Cooper Village Area Mixed-Use Building Trades for $5.6M

361 First Avenue

A mixed-use building on the northwest corner of 21st Street and First Avenue, across from Peter Cooper Village, has sold in an off-market deal for $1,120 per square foot.

The seller was Rye, NY-based JTU Management Inc., which acquired the property in July 2011 for $4.38 million, and the purchaser was a private investor listed as First Avenue Assets LLC, public records indicate. Read More

REIT Beat

New York REIT Begins Trading

Worldwide Plaza

New York REIT, the real estate investment trust formerly known as American Realty Capital New York Recovery REIT, made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday under the symbol NYRT. Shares in the REIT began trading at $10.70 and closed at $10.75, rising late in the trading day.

“NYRT’s successful listing on the NYSE marks another important milestone for the Company and provides it more efficient access to the capital markets which will help drive its future growth, while also creating a liquidity opportunity for our shareholders,” said Nicholas Schorsch, the chairman and chief executive of NYRT, in a prepared statement released prior to yesterday’s trading session. Read More

Science Project

Mega Hudson Yards Development to Be First ‘Quantified Community’

A rendering of the Hudson Yards.

The unexamined life, as we all know, is not worth living. What, then, of the unquantified life? An existence that does not feed into a data set, whose lessons can only be gleaned via subjective analysis?

Well, in any case, that won’t be a concern for those planning to relocate to Hudson Yards. New York University has announced that it is teaming up with Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group to “measure and analyze key physical and environmental attributes at Hudson Yards,” a move that they say will help the nascent neighborhood to run as efficiently as possible when it comes to residential, retail, office and public space. And it will be boon to Related, which will be better able to manage its properties with expert feedback, and also, of course, to NYU, which will get a nice data set to work with.  Read More