Lease Beat

Nonprofit Investor Signs Garment District Lease

462 Seventh Avenue

Nonprofit seed investor Echoing Green will move its headquarters one block east under a 10-year,  9,750-square-foot lease for the 13th floor of S.I.K. Associates‘ building under the Kaufman Organization‘s portfolio at 462 Seventh Avenue between West 35th and 36th Streets  in the Garment District, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning.

The socially-conscious firm will move from its current home at 494 Eighth Avenue to the 23-story structure with a renovated lobby and Hale and Hearty Soups and Starbucks on the ground floor, a 185,000-square-foot building where office asking rents run in the high $40s per square foot, said Steve Kaufman, president of the Kaufman Organization. Read More

Lease Beat

Moe’s Sneaker Spot Signs Harlem Lease

1890 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd

Trendy urban shoe retailer Moe’s Sneaker Spot will open its second Manhattan location this fall at 1890 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard on the southwest corner of 115th Street in Harlem, Commercial Observer has learned.

The rapidly-expanding shoe chain with a dozen locations in New York and New Jersey inked a 10-year, 1,800-square-foot lease in the ground floor space of a newly-converted condo building owned by Tahl Propp Equities where asking rents for the formerly-vacant retail space run approximately $55 per square foot, said Faith Hope Consolo, chairman of Douglas Elliman‘s retail group. Read More

Sales Beat

Sitt Asset Management Buys Two Pink Soho Buildings for $30M

161 Prince Street.

Family-owned real estate investment firm Sitt Asset Management has snagged a pair of pink Soho buildings on Prince Street for a combined $30 million.

Sitt spent $15.9 million for 161 Prince Street and $14.1 million for the adjacent 159 Prince Street, both between West Broadway and Thompson Street. The deal closed on Aug. 31 and appeared in public records today. The seller is listed as Hewitt, N.J.-based MRM Equity LLC. Read More

Sales Beat

Silvershore Nabs Bushwick Package for $4.05M

1452 Myrtle Avenue, 1450 Myrtle Avenue and 1488 Myrtle Avenue, from left.

Silvershore Properties has picked up four attached three-story mixed-use buildings in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn in a direct deal for $4.05 million.

David Shorenstein, the company’s principal, said it’s a “very hot” neighborhood and over time his company plans to renovate the buildings, which are at 1446, 1448, 1450 and 1452 Myrtle Avenue, raise the below-market rents and bring in “better tenants for the retail.” They all are fully occupied one- to three-family buildings with retail on the ground floor. The four retail tenants have leases expiring over the next few years, he said. Read More

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 a sum for 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 Will Be?

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

Lease Beat

Minskoff Secures Tech Firm in Hudson Square [Updated]

101 Avenue of the Americas.

Cloud-hosting service provider DigitalOcean has signed for 23,500 square feet at Edward J. Minskoff Equities‘ 101 Avenue of the Americas, between Watts and Grand Streets. It will be relocating from 270 Lafayette Street.

DigitalOcean’s lease spans the entire 11th floor and a portion of the 10th floor, The Real Deal reported. Rents in the building start in the $70s per square foot and the lease is for 10 years. 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