Lease Beat

Pig Heaven to Reopen on Upper East Side

1420 Third Avenue

Beloved Chinese eatery Nancy Lee’s Pig Heaven will reopen this fall in a 2,000-square-foot retail space at the Brodsky Organization‘s 1420 Third Avenue between East 80th and East 81st Streets, the New York Post reported this morning.

The takeout and sitdown gem that formerly drew celebrity clientele such as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks at its now-shuttered location one block east will move into a space with asking rents around $200-per-square foot, the publication reported. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Congress Votes to End Condo Owner Filing Requirement

U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously last week to end a federal filing requirement for owners of condo buildings with more than 99 units that ensnared developers in litigation following the financial crisis of 2008.

During the downturn, lawyers for condo buyers began trying to break the purchase contracts by arguing in court cases that the owners hadn’t accurately complied with a 1969 law named the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act that required owners of buildings to register with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and then the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Read More

Donated Space

Jack Resnick & Sons Donates Space at 315 Hudson to Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

315 Hudson Street

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Artist Residency Program will enjoy roughly 50,000 square feet of donated space at 315 Hudson Street, thanks to a partnership between the non-profit and real estate group Jack Resnick & Sons.

According to a press release, the 8th floor of the Hudson Square office building, which has been emptied of tenants, will be converted to meet artists’ needs. This includes constructing 32 studios, meeting rooms, common areas, and a dance floor and rehearsal space. Artists are expected to begin working at the site immediately. Read More

Grand Openings

Lego’s Flagship Store to Soft Open This Week [Updated]

Inside the new Lego store at 200 Fifth Avenue, as of  last week.

Lego’s New York City flagship will soft open at 200 Fifth Avenue this Friday at 11 a.m., according to a spokeswoman for LEGO Systems, and the grand opening is scheduled to span Columbus Day weekend.

The toy manufacturer is a couple of months behind schedule as it was supposed to soft-open in mid-July and then officially open over the course of a weekend in August, DNAinfo reported in April.  Read More

Mortgage Observer

Bancorp Bank Provides Bridge Loan on Denholtz Jersey Office Property

Metro Park South.

The Bancorp Bank, a 14-year-old domestic Internet bank, provided floating-rate bridge financing to Denholtz Associates to recapitalize a 132,721-square-foot office property the firm owns in Matawan, N.J., Mortgage Observer has first learned.

HFF worked on behalf of the private development and management firm to secure the three-year $14.5 million loan on Metro Park South located at 100 Matawan Road off of the Garden State Parkway. Read More

Lease Beat

Event Producer Snaps Up Industry City Space

Industry City. (Sarah Dorio)

Full-service event design, planning and production company David Stark Design and Production has signed a lease for 38,000 square feet at Brooklyn’s Industry City.

The Brooklyn firm will move into the 40-acre Sunset Park complex in early 2015, according to a release from Industry City. Its current digs are in a 5,000-square-foot production space in Carroll Gardens and a 9,000-square-foot storage space in Gowanus, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported news of the deal. Read More

Wrecking Ball

NoMad Parish House Soon To Come Down [Updated]

30 East 31st Street.

Eckstein Development Group has filed an application to tear down the Madison Avenue Baptist Church‘s historic 1906 parish house at 30 East 31st Street, according to Department of Buildings records.

The development group is planning to erect a $90 million condominium in partnership with Pinnacle Real Estate, according to Ekstein’s website. The project is slated to break ground in the fourth quarter of this year.  Read More


Sign of the Season: Halloween Stores Pop-Up

209 Smith Street

Fashion, cosmetics and beauty products retailer Ricky’s NYC will open a 4,500-square-foot Halloween-themed pop-up shop this week in Thor Equities’ retail space at 209 Smith Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn as part of a rollout of 25 temporary Halloween costume, makeup and prop stores in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

While some retailers devote their entire business model to seasonal stores that often shift from Halloween to the December holidays as the fall turns to winter, Rickey’s will be using the space for another well-established pop-up purpose: to test the Restaurant Row market on a street among brownstone neighborhoods and Downtown Brooklyn. Read More

Lease Beat

Insurance Company Inks Lease at RFR’s Seagram Building

The Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue.

Berkley Insurance Company has snapped up 7,817 square feet in a 10-year lease at the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The deal, which was signed at the end of last month, gives the firm a new space for its senior executive leadership on the 27th floor of the RFR Realty building, which is between 52nd and 53rd streets. Berkley is building out the space and anticipates moving into the building at the start of 2015, according to a spokesman for RFR. Read More

The Lobby

Cassidy Turley Hires Nonprofit Group Co-Leader

Janet Woods

Cassidy Turley hired an experienced broker for charities and foundations to help lead its nonprofit practice group, the company announced last week.

Janet Woods has joined Cassidy Turley as co-leader alongside David Lebenstein to play the same role she formerly served at JLL as a representative for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, the Children’s Aid Society, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and other nonprofit clients. Read More

Going Green

De Blasio’s Climate Plan to Impact City’s Real Estate

Bill de Blasio

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced an ambitious plan today that would slash Gotham’s greenhouse gas emissions primarily by retrofitting public and private buildings. The plan, One City, Built to Last: Transforming New York City’s Buildings for a Low-Carbon Future, would ensure New York’s carbon emissions were reduced by 80 percent over 2005 levels by 2050.

“By retrofitting all of our public buildings with significant energy use in the next ten years, we’re leading by example,” Mr. de Blasio said in a prepared statement. “By partnering with the private sector, we’ll reduce emissions and improve efficiency while generating billions in savings and creating thousands of jobs for New Yorkers who need it most.” Read More

Lease Beat

LA-based Media IT Firm To Open NYC Office

561 Seventh Avenue

Media and entertainment tech provider GPL Technologies will open its first permanent New York City office in the next 30 days through a 750-square-foot lease on the sixth floor of Handler Real Estate Organization’s building at 561 Seventh Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The Los Angeles-based company that also boasts permanent presences in Vancouver and London moves it into a customized office space in a Garment District building with asking rents in the $50s per square foot that’s steps from Times Square and a block west of Bryant Park, said Richard Farley, Handler’s COO and executive vice president. Read More

City Planning

Introducing Nine New NYC Neighborhoods

City of Neighborhoods Map

Allerton, Kingsbridge Heights, Erasmus and Fox Hills are now officially “on the map,” or at least the city’s Department of City Planning’s updated 2014 wall map. The map includes nine new neighborhood names and the agency’s most up-to-date demographic information.

First reported by The Wall Street Journal, the 2014 version of the map released earlier this month includes profiles of New York City’s 59 Community Districts differentiated by color. Newly designated areas also include Bronxdale in the Bronx, Hudson Yards in Manhattan and Bayswater, Hammels and Queensbridge in Queens. While the map does not claim to be the definitive guide to New York City neighborhoods, it does include district boundaries and economic and geographic profiles of the city’s communities. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Edgewater N.J. Complex Scores $85M Refi From Freddie Mac

The View at Edgewater

Berkadia Commercial Mortgage arranged an $85 million revolving credit facility through Freddie Mac for an Edgewater, N.J., mixed-use complex, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

The five-year loan has a floating rate based on Libor, currently ticking in at 2.05 percent, and a 75 percent loan-to-value ratio. The proceeds will be used to refinance a bridge loan, also provided by Berkadia, prior to stabilization. The property, called The View at Edgewater Harbor, was built in 2012, according to Read More


NYU Langone Backs Out of LICH Bid

LICH: back to the drawing board?

When Fortis Property Group finalized its deal with the State University of New York to redevelop Long Island College Hospital in June, it seemed that the long saga of the Cobble Hill hospital might finally be coming to an end.

Though the deal, with NYU Langone as the operator of a free-standing emergency room, fell short of bringing a full-service hospital to the site—an outcome that numerous community members, officials and then-Public Advocate Bill de Blasio had fought for—it did provide a free-standing emergency room and a number of clinics. And, many hoped, a much needed shot in the arm for Brooklyn’s ailing hospital system. But late last night, NYU announced that it was withdrawing from negotiations, leaving the fate of the hospital’s Fortis bid uncertain. Read More