Industry Events

CRE Pros OK with Burying the LEED

Sacha Zarba, Andrew Kimball, Anthony Malkin and Jonathan Mechanic. (Photo: Owen Hoffmann/

Ask Anthony Malkin about LEED and he’ll tell you how he really feels.

The chief executive officer of Empire State Realty Trust thinks the clean air certification for buildings (officially Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a good starting point, but it doesn’t do much for tenants or landlords. Instead, it’s all about keeping energy costs low in buildings with new technologies as opposed to a points system for miniscule things. Read More


Tishman, Silverstein and Durst Hit With 1 WTC Construction Injury Lawsuit

1 WTC and 4 WTC.

Cement mason worker Christopher Bertuzzi is suing Tishman ConstructionSilverstein Properties, the Durst Organization and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey after getting seriously injured while working at 1 World Trade Center.

On Aug. 4, 2014, Mr. Bertuzzi, who was employed by Holt Construction, suffered “serious injuries to the body” which have caused him ongoing problems while working on the 93rd floor. In his suit, Mr. Beruzzi says “two sections of scaffolding, which were improperly placed or stacked were caused to collapse on plaintiff thereby causing serious injury to the plaintiff.” Read More


Signature and RCG Fund Brooklyn Solomon Plaza Buy

Solomon Plaza.

New York-based JSR Capital acquired a two-story retail and office building in Borough Park, Brooklyn, for $25 million with $22.8 million in permanent and mezzanine financing brokered by Meridian Capital Group, Commercial Observer has learned.

The investment, development and management firm purchased the property at 5002 13th Avenue, known as Solomon Plaza, from a group of investors on April 20, according to two people familiar with the transaction. The sellers are three entities listed in city records as Gan Enterprises, Blima Homes and Samsol Homes. Read More

Lease Beat

Rudin Draws Real Estate Firm, Ad Agency to 40 East 52nd Street

40 East 52nd Street (Photo: CoStar).

The Rudin Family has signed two new tenants to 40 East 52nd Street, Commercial Observer has learned, filling out the building.

Real estate firm Madison Marquette inked a seven-year lease for 7,808 square feet on part of the 15th floor, according to Rudin Management Company. Advertising agency Eric Mower + Associates signed a five-year lease for 4,575 square feet on a portion of the 12th floor of the 23-story building. Read More


Emigrant Bank’s Patricia Goldstein Dies in Bike Accident

Patricia Goldstein.

Patricia Goldstein, vice chairman and head of commercial real estate at Emigrant Savings Bank, and a recognized female pioneer in the real estate finance industry, died on April 29 after sustaining injuries in a bicycle accident on April 23. She was 69.

Ms. Goldstein was riding in a bike lane in Highland Beach, Fla., when a car veered off the road and struck her. She was pronounced dead at Delray Medical Center in Delray Beach. Read More

Lease Beat

Tech Company Takes Space at 11 East 26th Street

11 East 26th Street.

Persado has inked a long-term deal to move into the 15th floor of 11 East 26th Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The online marketing company is taking 12,083 square feet in the NoMad building between Fifth and Madison Avenues, according to brokers in the 12-year deal. The asking rent was $68 per square foot. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

City Council Pushes for $1.4M in Annual Funding to Protect Industrial Zones

The City Council would like IBZs to get basline funding (Photo: janelle/flickr).

Support for the city’s Industrial Business Zones, or IBZs, has steadily dwindled since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg created 16 zones in 2006 to help manufacturing businesses flourish with a combination of zoning protections, tax credits and city funding. The number of zones swelled to 21 over the last 9 years, but the $4 million that was once allocated for them has all but disappeared, and in his state of the city address, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that he’d like to put workforce housing in IBZs.

In a move to protect IBZs, the City Council has proposed $1.4 million in baseline funding—which would guarantee the same measure of financial support every year—in its recently-released budget response, a level that Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito argued would allow industrial businesses to plan for the future with greater certainty. In last year’s budget the City Council provided $830,000 for IBZs and the administration $578,000, for a total of $1.4 million in non-baseline funding. Read More

Lease Beat

Aspen Insurance Renews, Expands at 590 Madison Avenue

590 Madison Avenue.

Aspen Insurance has renewed and expanded its lease at 590 Madison Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned, increasing its foothold in the building by one-third.

The insurance giant will go up to 72,327 square feet between three floors once the 15-year lease kicks in next year, according to a source familiar with the deal. Aspen Insurance will have a direct lease starting March 2016, as its previous sub-lease was expiring and the growing company wanted to expand. Read More

The Lobby

Prospect Capital Group Joining Eastern Consolidated

Sam Zabala.

Prospect Capital Group is joining Eastern Consolidated as the company beefs up its capital advisory division, Commercial Observer has learned.

Adam Hakim and Sam Zabala, the partners of PCG, will become managing directors at Eastern Consolidated and work alongside Jonathan Aghravi, who started the division last year, the company announced. James Murad, a PCG associate, is also joining the company and will manage relationships with clients and capital markets, along with underwriting properties and projects. Read More

On the Market

Thor Equities’ Retail Condo at Row NYC Hotel Hits the Market

Row NYC at at 700 Eighth Avenue (Photo: Lauren Elkies Schram).

Thor Equities‘ roughly 27,000-square-foot three-story retail condominium unit at the base of the Row NYC Hotel, formerly Milford Plaza, has hit the market. A source said the property is expected to fetch in excess of $100 million.

The 26,883-square-foot site at 700 Eighth Avenue between West 44th and West 45th Streets includes four stores, the nine-vendor food court called City Kitchen (which opened in March and has a lease through March 2023), two souvenir shops and an 1,000-square-foot below-grade space leased to the hotel that is being built out for a gym, according to information obtained by Commercial Observer.  Read More

Sales Beat

RockFarmer Capital Acquires Three Tudor-Style Buildings in Flushing

189-10 37th Avenue in Flushing.

Real estate investment and services firm RockFarmer Capital has bought three Tudor-style apartment buildings in Flushing, Queens for $11.7 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

RockFarmer bought 189-10, 189-15 and 189-16 37th Avenue, which sit adjacent to Utopia Parkway in the borough, according to a press release issued by the company. City property records list the seller as Embee Realty Co., LLC. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: BASIS Independent Brooklyn


When completed, the private school BASIS Independent Brooklyn will sit near the New York Bay waterfront in Red Hook. But much of the five-story building will have been constructed 145 miles to the west in New Holland, Penn.

The new institution, which has already opened to grades kindergarten through eighth but will add high school classes over the coming years, used modular construction to build its $40 million,100,000-square-foot school. Creating the building, which will house 1,000 students, involved 163 modular building blocks, 2 million pounds of steel and 614 cubic yards of concrete floors. Shipping costs alone exceeded $1 million. Read More

Lease Beat

Plated Relocates to 84,400 SF in the Bronx

511 Barry Street (Photo: CoStar).

Plated, a service that delivers pre-portioned boxes of fresh and seasonal ingredients, has relocated to 84,400 square feet of industrial space in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx, the company’s broker announced, to accommodate its growing business.

New Jersey-based NAI James E. Hanson facilitated the five-plus-year lease at the two-story 134,732-square-foot industrial building at 511 Barry Street, off of the Bruckner Expressway. The asking rent was $10 per square foot, according to CoStar Group. Read More