Mortgage Observer

Risk Retention Rules Approved, Will Increase Cost of CMBS Transactions

Send in the clowns...

Six federal agencies voted this week to approve new risk retention rules that could foul up the finally recovered CMBS issuance pipeline, even though the new rules won’t be enacted until 2016. However, the sentiment from some industry observers was relief—earlier proposed regulations were even more strict.

As part of the Dodd-Frank Act’s implementation, rules were passed last month that require managers of collateralized loan obligations, including CMBS, to hold a larger portion of deals on their books—a move that is expected to increase costs but one that won’t scare away investors, according to industry sources. Read More

Market Reports

Midtown Leasing Slows With Availabilities Looming

Midtown numbers

Despite upticks in rent prices and decreased availability rates in both Class A and Class B properties in Midtown, the area moved less real estate in terms of raw square footage in the third quarter, according to the latest quarterly Manhattan office report released last week by Cresa New York.

The area between approximately 66th and 42nd Streets that the firm refers to as “Midtown North” totaled 3.8 million square feet of leasing transactions for the quarter, down from 4.9 million square feet in deals that were leased in the second quarter, 4.8 million square feet in the first quarter and 6.6 million square feet in the last quarter of 2013, the report says. Read More

Sales Beat

Daten Group Buys Vacant Clinton Hill Gas Station for $7.4M

A rendering of 840 Fulton Street.

An affiliate of New York City developer The Daten Group has purchased a vacant gas station at 840 Fulton Street in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn for $7.4 million, Commercial Observer has learned. The developer plans to build a seven-story, 40,000-square-foot building on the lot, with 38 residential rental units, 20 percent of which will be affordable.

The seller of the 6,724-square-foot property, which is at Vanderbilt Avenue, is Fulvan Realty LLC, a long-term owner of multiple gas stations in the area. The deal, which closed on Sept. 30, included 3,464 square feet of air rights from the neighboring property at 848 Fulton Street, according to a spokeswoman for the Daten Group. Read More

Sales Beat

Chang Closes on R/GA Garment Center Buy

350 West 39th Street.

Sam Chang of McSam Hotel Group on Tuesday closed the $112 million purchase of 350 West 39th Street, home to global digital advertising agency R/GA, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Chang said he doesn’t know what he plans to do with the site, which is what he told Commercial Observer in June when he signed the contract. R/GA will be occupying the location until Oct. 31, 2015, Mr. Chang said, so he has time to sort it out. But the prolific hotelier could very well be considering building another hotel. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Cayuga Capital Crowdfunds Part of $7M Bushwick Buy

294 Harman Street.

Developer Cayuga Capital Management has paid $7 million for the acquisition and planned renovation of a series of Bushwick, Brooklyn multifamily properties in part through crowdfunding, Commercial Observer has learned.

Two days ago, Cayuga Capital closed on the $6 million acquisition of four buildings at 290 and 294 Harman Street from two private individuals. Fundrise raised $1.4 million toward the project cost for Cayuga Capital through investments ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 from 33 people around the country, according to Dan Miller, the co-founder and president of Fundrise. Read More

Lease Beat

Nonprofit Expands in Midtown East Relocation

685 Third Avenue

The Foundation for the Global Compact, a nonprofit United Nations partner organization, will more than double its office footprint by moving less than a block west from its current digs in the first quarter of 2015. The nonprofit signed a 15-year, 27,235-square-foot lease on the entire 12th floor at TIAA-CREF’s 685 Third Avenue, Savills Studley announced Wednesday.

The organization, which raises awareness about the UN Global Compact and works to create partnerships with businesses and governments will depart a 9,800-square-foot space nearby and consolidate from space it currently uses at the UN headquarters. Asking rents were $60 per square foot, Savills Studley officials said. Read More

Lease Beat

CrossFit Affiliate to Relocate and Expand in Crown Heights

1010 Dean Street

Crown Heights, Brooklyn CrossFit gym affiliate CrowHill CrossFit will relocate and expand to a new 11,600-square-foot location in an entire one-floor industrial property at 1010 Dean Street in the first quarter of 2015, CPEX announced earlier this week.

The gym that is the local edition of the popular chain will move roughly four blocks north of its current location through a 10-year lease in a property where asking rents ran for $30 per square foot, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the deal. Read More

Lease Beat

Cafés Owner Expands Business With Commissary Space

144-146 East 44th Street.

Blue Radish Group, the parent company of Bread Market Café, Café Beyond, Digby’s Café and City Chow Café, has expanded its business with a new commissary space for its catering and delivery business, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company took 6,800 square feet on the lower level of 144-146 East 44th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues in a 10-year deal, a spokeswoman for the tenant’s broker said. Blue Raddish has assumed occupancy of the space in the 45,000-square-foot, seven-story building. Read More

Lease Beat

Insurance Information Institute Relocates in FiDi

110 William Street.

Insurance Information Institute signed a new 7,900-square-foot lease at 110 William Street, a building owned by Savanna and KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT, Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant, whose mission for 50 years has been to improve the public’s understanding of insurance, signed a 10-year deal in the 32-story building, Savanna announced. The asking rent was in the mid-$40s, according to a spokesman for Savanna. Insurance Information Institute will be relocating to floor 18 from 24 in December. Read More

Lease Beat

Tech Provider, Epiq, Relocates in Midtown Sublease From Avon

777 Third Avenue.

Epiq Systems is relocating employees from its offices at 90 Park Avenue to furnished digs at 777 Third Avenue, as Crain’s New York Business first reported.

The legal industry technology provider is subleasing two full floors, 10 and 11, totaling 50,000 square feet, from Avon cosmetics company. The William Kaufman Organization and The Travelers Companies co-own the 38-story roughly 600,000-square-foot building which is between 48th and 49th Streets. The asking rent wasn’t immediately available. Avon replaced a major advertising firm as the anchor tenant in 2010. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Santander Finances GDC Long Island City Industrial Buys

11-24 45th Road.

Santander Bank provided a $22 million loan to Hawthorne, N.Y.-based GDC Properties to facilitate the acquisition of two Long Island City industrial properties ripe for redevelopment, city records show.

The retail and residential developer acquired a one-story warehouse at 11-24 45th Road from a seller listed as Eunhasu Corporation for $37 million and a factory at 45-35 11th Street $7 million from a seller listed as Kyu Heung Park. Read More

Midtown South

Lower Manhattan’s Development Lifts Soho Retail

Crowds of people in Soho.

While Soho’s transformation from gritty bohemian enclave to international shopping center is all but complete, the continued development of Lower Manhattan ensures that the area will continue to attract top retailers for top-dollar rents.

“The development that is now occurring in the Financial District creates a connection with Soho because the proximity is fairly close,” said Andrew Mandell, the managing partner at Ripco Real Estate and the chairman of the Real Estate Board of New York’s stores committee. “You’ll see over the years that there will be an overlap of shoppers that visit the Financial District and the [9/11] Memorial pools. Because it’s so close to Soho, there will be an overlap and we may see an increase in shoppers.”  Read More

Sales Beat

Slate Scoops up Four Properties for Over $22M

457 15th Street Brooklyn

Slate Property Group has closed on two multifamily properties on the Upper East Side, one multifamily in East Harlem and one in Park Slope, Brooklyn for a collective $22.2 million with future plans both for extensive renovations at the firm’s new assets and $60 million worth of additional multifamily buys under contract, Commercial Observer has learned.

While company officials aren’t disclosing the properties that are under contract, the residential purchases at 342 East 85th Street between First and Second Avenues for $6.1 million, 1908-1910 Third Avenue between East 105th and East 106th Streets for $10 million and 457 15th Street next to Prospect Park for $6.2 million represent a step forward in the company’s business approach, said Martin Nussbaum, Slate’s principal and co-founder. Read More

Market Reports

Report: Construction Spending Nearing Pre-Recession Boom

New York Building Congress report

Construction spending in New York City will grow 17 percent this year to $32.9 billion from $28.2 billion in 2013, according to a report set to be released this morning by the New York Building Congress.

Despite reduced commercial construction investment this year due to the lack of a large-scale arena or live entertainment project, overall spending will grow to $35.3 billion in 2015 and $35.6 billion in 2016 and approach pre-recession levels, the report says. Read More

Lease Beat

Art Dealer and Energy Company Book Seagram Spaces

375 Park Avenue

London-based petroleum trading company Yakima Oil Trading and independent art dealer Tobias Meyer have opened Seagram Building offices through respective five-year leases on the 25th floor totaling 3,841 square feet at RFR Realty’s landmarked building at 375 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The energy finance firm has inaugurated its first New York City offices in a 2,437-square-foot space and Mr. Meyer, who stepped down from his role as chief art auctioneer after 20 years at Sotheby’s last year, opened a 1,404-square-foot office for his new private art business, company officials said. Read More