Crime and Punishment

Bruce Eichner Asks Court to Lift Sales Ban at Manhattan Club

The Manhattan Club at 200 West 56th Street.

Developer Ian Bruce Eichner is asking a judge to lift a nearly year-long ban preventing him from selling timeshares at the Manhattan Club in Midtown, according to new court documents.

The developer filed a motion yesterday in Manhattan Supreme Court requesting that despite an investigation spearheaded by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, more than 20 would-be buyers at the Manhattan Club at 200 West 56th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues be permitted to close their timeshare deals. Read More

Lease Beat

Smoothie Company Inks Deal for New Store Near NYU

60 East Eighth Street.

An expanding smoothie joint is heading downtown with a new store within walking distance from New York University, Commercial Observer has learned.

Pure Green, a health food restaurant that sells smoothies, juices and bowls of açaí, has inked a 10-year deal for 1,000 square feet at 60 East Eighth Street between Broadway and Mercer Street, according to a broker involved in the deal. It’s the fourth planned location for the juice maker, according to its website.    Read More

Lease Beat

Chipotle Opening Interior Design Testing Center at Industry City

Industry City.

Chipotle Mexican Grill will be opening a 9,197-square-foot space at Sunset Park’s Industry City to create and test interior designs for its restaurants, Commercial Observer has learned.

The burrito and taco chain with more than 1,500 restaurants in the U.S. and abroad took a 10-year deal on the fourth floor in Building 4 of the 6-million-square-foot, 16-building manufacturing complex on the South Brooklyn waterfront. Taking rents range from $15 to $35 per square foot. Read More

On the Market

Park Slope Resi Building Hits Market at 54 Percent Increase from 2012

477 3rd Street.

Take a $7.8 million rental apartment building, throw in the fact that several of its 20 units are about to lose their rent-control status, wait three years and you apparently can ask $12 million for it.

More than half of the apartments in the building, 477 3rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues in Park Slope which was just put on the market, will become market-rate in 2017 when the property’s J-51 tax credit expires, according to GFI Realty Services. Eight units will remain rent-stabilized until the current tenants move out. Read More

Behind the turnstile

Slate of Hot Retailers Headed Below Ground at Columbus Circle

Rendering of the entrance to Turnsyle

Less than a week after a master lease was signed to allow for development of the underground Turnstyle transit marketplace just outside the Columbus Circle subway station, Commercial Observer obtained a list of tenants who have signed leases in the 14,750-square-foot space.

On the southern end of the 34-shop mezzanine-level shopping center is the food court with the following tenants: Ignazio’s Pizza, Gelato Ti Amo, MeltKraft grilled cheese, Bosie Tea Parlor, Ellary’s Greens organic café. There is a lease still out for a cupcake shop. The food court will be the only area in the shopping center with seating, Susan Fine, the developer of the shopping concourse, told CO, and it will offer live music. Read More

Sales Beat

Bronx Landlord Nabs Harlem Buildings for Double Their 2012 Price

2655 and 2657 Frederick Douglass Boulevard.

Castellan Real Estate Partners has sold a pair of rent-stabilized Harlem buildings to a Bronx landlord for $6.6 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

The buildings, 2655 and 2657 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at the corner of West 142nd Street, have a combined 26 apartments with an average asking rent of $1,376 per month, according to Besen & Associates, which represented both sides in the sale. Of those units, 14 are two-bedroom and 12 are three-bedroom apartments. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

1 Vanderbilt Gets the Go-Ahead from City Council

A rendering of 1 Vanderbilt (image: Kohn Pedersen Fox)

The New York City Council this afternoon unanimously approved SL Green Realty Corp.’s proposal for a new office tower, 1 Vanderbilt, in the heart of Midtown East. The Council also gave the green light for the rezoning of the Vanderbilt Corridor, the five-block stretch that spans from East 42nd to East 47th Streets.

“It is time to unlock the economic development potential in East Midtown,” said Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick in prepared remarks. “The area has gotten stuck in outdated rules, and has lost some of its competitiveness over time. That is going to change today, starting with the Vanderbilt Corridor—where we will open the door to additional density in exchange for much-needed improvements to our transit system.” Read More

Lease Beat

Fast Forward Renews, Expands Space in Garment District

10 West 33rd Street.

Fast Forward, a manufacturer of backpacks, lunch kits, beverage bottles, handbags and luggage, has renewed its lease at 10 West 33rd Street in the Garment District and has expanded its presence there.

According to a spokesman for Adams & Co., which brokered the deal, Fast Forward renewed its current 9,042-square-foot space and added 1,261 square feet. The company plans to use the new space for executive offices and a showroom. The entire space is on the seventh floor. Read More

Lease Beat

‘RHONY’ Star’s Underwear Line Slips Into 530 Seventh Avenue

530 Seventh Avenue (Photo: CoStar).

Yummie, a women’s shapewear line started by “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Heather Thompson, is relocating to a new showroom in the Garment District, according to a press release from the landlord, Savitt Partners.

The designer inked a deal last week for 9,000 square feet at 530 Seventh Avenue between West 38th and West 39th Streets. Ms. Thompson won’t be moving too far; her office is currently located a few blocks away at 561 Seventh Avenue between West 40th and West 41st Streets. Read More

Buildings and Construction

Construction Jobs Up, But Wages Flatline


Construction employment is inching closer to pre-recession levels, according to a report by the New York Building Congress released today, in a 4.5 percent increase from 2013 to 2014. But wages remain low as construction costs rise non-union labor becomes more prevalent in the current real estate boom.

“A booming market has many, many benefits for the city as a whole, for people that work in the industry, for employment opportunities,” said Richard T. Anderson, the president of the Building Congress, told Commercial Observer. “But it does lead to cost escalation, it does lead to labor shortages.” Read More

Hotel Beat

Room Rates Continue Drop, Supply Outweighs Demand

image (1)

Prices for a hotel room continue to dwindle in the city compared with last year, and the gap between available bed nights and demand for them is still wide, according to April data collected by hotel bench-marking firm STR. Hotel experts blame newer options such as Airbnb, increased hotel construction and a strengthening dollar on the staggering performance.

The number of available rooms per night continued to outpace the demand for them by half a million in April compared with a year earlier. Supply climbed 3.1 percent last month to 3,409,800 bed nights, according to STR, from 3,305,970 a year earlier. Demand only increased 2 percent during that time, however, to 2,964,789 from 2,905,875. Read More


MetLife Provides $70M for Landmark Wall Street Office Property

48 Wall Street.

MetLife lent $70 million to an affiliate of MacDonald & Cie to refinance a 34-story landmark office tower at 48 Wall Street, formerly known as the Bank of New York Building, Commercial Observer has learned.

The 15-year debt carries a loan-to-value ratio of 54 percent, according to a MetLife spokesman. The loan replaces financing provided by Capital One in 2008, city records show. Read More

ICSC 2015

Empire Outlets Developer Amping Up Amenities

Rendering of Empire Outlets in Staten Island.

BFC Partners may have just broken ground on the 340,0000-square-foot Staten Island retail complex Empire Outlets in April, but the developer is already lining up service packages for its future shoppers, Commercial Observer has learned.

Bags Inc., which has a service partnership with the Walt Disney World Resort, has partnered with Empire Outlets to provide professional concierge agents for the mall’s guest services kiosks. The agents will do the following: currency exchange, stroller rentals, shipping and package storage, according to information provided by BFC’s spokeswoman. Read More