Lease Beat

Capital New York Moving Downstairs on 39th Street [Updated]

333 West 39th Street.

Online news publication Capital New York is moving to a larger space in its current building at 333 West 39th Street to accommodate its recent growth.

Capital signed a five-year lease for 4,500 square feet one floor down from its current 1,900-square-foot ninth-floor space in the building between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, according to Neil Joffee of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Mr. Joffee is the majority owner of the building and was one of the brokers representing ownership, along with NGKF’s Alan Steinberg. The new office is comprised of three combined spaces on the eighth floor. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Ashkenazy Receives $210M CMBS Loan for L.A. Mall Buy

Beverly Connection

Meridian Capital Group secured a $210 million CMBS loan on behalf of New York-based Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation to help fund its purchase of the Beverly Connection shopping center in Los Angeles, Mortgage Observer has learned.

Meridian Senior Managing Director Ronnie Levine and Managing Director Jeffrey Berkes, both based in the company’s New York City headquarters, led the negotiations. Messrs. Levine and Berkes declined to name the lender. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Greystone Hires Deutsche Bank Veteran

Deutsche Bank veteran Nikhil Kanodia has joined the New York-based multifamily and healthcare lender Greystone as a managing director, Mortgage Observer has first learned.

Mr. Kanodia will report to Mordecai Rosenberg in Greystone’s New York office with a focus on managing client relationships, originating new loans and identifying opportunities for new deals with real estate owners. Read More

on the waterfront

Federal Agency Exploring Wind Energy Off LI [Updated]

New York wind

The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is conducting a preliminary environmental assessment and a call for commercial expressions of interest on wind energy leases in an 81,130-acre site that’s roughly 13 nautical miles off Rockaway Peninsula.

After the state’s New York Power Authority submitted a 2011 wind proposal for 194 turbines on the site to the agency in conjunction with the Long Island Power Authority and Con Edison, the federal agency that oversees offshore energy production launched the lengthy public review and competitive bidding processes President Barack Obama outlined in 2010 in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and the agency announced in May that it’s accepting notifications from other interested parties ahead of a potential lease auction. Read More

Lease Beat

Boston Market Signs Lease at Bronx Triangle Plaza Hub

Rendering of Triangle Plaza Hub.

Boston Market chicken restaurant chain signed a lease this week for 2,600 square feet on the ground floor at the Triangle Plaza Hub in the Bronx, Lester Petracca, the president of Triangle Equities, told Commercial Observer.

The asking rent in the Triangle Equities project was $75 per square foot and the lease was for 10 years, with an option to extend, a spokesman for Triangle Equities indicated. Read More

Lease Beat

Designer Leads 10 New Deals in ESRT Portfolio

501 Seventh Avenue.

Empire State Realty Trust has leased over 40,000 square feet of space in three of its Manhattan office buildings to 10 new tenants, the real estate investment trust announced this week.

In the largest of the new deals, P. Devos Designs Inc. signed a 7,628-square-foot lease at 501 Seventh Avenue. The tenant, better known as fashion designer Pamella Roland, was represented by Steven Pressler of Coldwell Banker. The term of the deal was not disclosed. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Rechler Weighs in on New Port Authority Chairman

Scott Rechler.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey has elected former New Jersey Attorney General John Degnan as chairman of the bi-state agency’s Board of Commissioners. Scott Rechler, the CEO of RXR Realty and vice chairman of the Port Authority’s Board of Commissioners, assumed the chairmanship following David Samson‘s resignation from the position in March. Along with Wednesday’s announcement of Mr. Degnan’s swearing in, the Port Authority indicated the board’s authorization of $90 million in improvements for its 64-year-old bus terminal. Commercial Observer checked in with Mr. Rechler to see how he felt about giving up the temporary chairman post, his greatest accomplishment while serving as chairman and his feelings about his replacement. Read More

Citi Bike

Related Cos. Spin-Off Will Acquire Controlling Stake in Citi Bike


Alta Bicycle Share, the Portland, Ore. based company that operates New York’s Citi Bike program as well as bicycle share systems in several other cities, is about to get a financial shot in the arm, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

REQX Ventures, an investment firm founded by members of Related Companies, will finalize a deal to acquire a controlling stake in the beleaguered bike share network with an eight-figure contribution which could close as soon as next week, the Journal reported. Read More


Met Opera Building Workers To Rally Later Today

The Met Opera

A day after Metropolitan Opera General Manager Peter Gelb warned of a potential lockout over the troubled cultural institution’s contract negotiations with its employees, the union representing security guards, office clerks, ushers and other less-heralded workers are holding an afternoon rally to protest what it calls “Met Opera’s Poverty Proposal.”

The 150 Met employees who are part of 32BJ SEIU, the country’s largest property service worker union, are clamoring against significant reductions to their health and pension benefits in the Met’s proposed contract as the two sides close in on a looming deadline at the end of the month. Read More

Port Authority

PA Announces New Chairman, $90M for Bus Terminal Improvements

Port Authority Bus Terminal

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced $90 million in improvements for its 64-year-old bus terminal yesterday.

“The functionally obsolete facility no longer meets the transportation needs of the hundreds of thousands of riders that pass through the terminal every day, and the Port Authority is committed to identifying comprehensive improvements within the context of its existing Capital Plan,” according to a joint prepared statement by Port Authority Executive Director Pat Foye and Deputy Executive Director Deborah Gramiccioni. “This initiative will make interim improvements to the terminal as the agency explores a program to deliver a redeveloped facility.” Read More

Market Report

CompStak Q2 Report: Manhattan Office Market ‘Bullish’

Compstak graphs

The latest quarterly Manhattan office rent report from commercial lease database CompStak details a “bullish” market where new Manhattan office leases represented more than 66 percent of new leasing activity this year, versus only 54 percent in 2013.

Despite a $2.07-per-square-foot decline in Midtown South rents to $52.62, analysts pronounced all three markets healthy, citing large-scale leases at Brookfield Place and the World Trade Center, as well as notable signings like Yelp‘s 152,232-square-foot deal at 11 Madison Avenue. Read More

Art in Real Estate

Pulitzer Poet Immortalizes Atlantic Avenue, Talks Brooklyn Development

3 Sections

Carroll Gardens scribe Vijay Seshadri, the 2014 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry, took home the honor this spring after devoting a 16-page poem to thoughts evoked by his taxi rides along Brooklyn’s Atlantic Avenue to John F. Kennedy Airport, and the chair of the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College recently took time to explain his mixed views of the street and its continuing development in an exclusive email interview with Commercial Observer.

The 60-year-old married father of one’s “3 Sections,” published by Graywolf Press, features a poem called “Personal Essay” that portrays the busy corridor which runs from the Brooklyn waterfront, past the new Barclays Center and into Queens before terminating at the Van Wyck Expressway as a Walt Whitman-inspired launching pad for existential questions and, in the poet’s words, a “redemptive movement.” Read More