Crime & Punishment
“This scheme is plotted on the chart to my left –the smallest demonstrative exhibit that I’ve ever seen used in the DA’s office,” said Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.
The exhibit Mr. Vance was referring to during a press conference in the 8th floor Library at One Hogan Place earlier today was indeed small, just barely large enough to be read from a generous distance.
The scheme, however –in which Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a bank with predominantly Chinese clientele, allegedly helped its customers submit fraudulent mortgage applications that resulted in approximately a billion dollars worth of mortgages issued out by Fannie Mae– was infinitely larger in size, scope and relevance.
Nineteen individuals, all former employees and managers of Abacus Federal Savings Bank, were indicted as a result of the scam. Seven of those people already entered guilty pleas, while the remainder of them were set to face arraignment –and Judge Renee White– in state court in Manhattan throughout the day.
FNBNY has signed a 6,000-square-foot lease at Carnegie Hall Tower, one of Midtown’s so-called country-club office buildings known for its sweeping Central Park views and expensive rents.
FNBNY took a portion of the 550,000-square-foot building’s 52nd floor in the deal for rents close to space’s asking price of $115 per square foot a source told Read More
Last night, The Observer got a glimpse of the super-tall residential tower Gary Barnett has planned for Broadway and 57th Street, just one block away from his already very tall One57.
Our good friends at Curbed picked up on this and were brilliant enough to photoshop the two onto the same skyline. It is quite the striking image, but not quite complete.
After all, rival 432 Park is already underway—and looking for more investors, if you’re interested, as The Journal revealed yesterday—so we figured, what the hey, let’s put them all together.
Welcome to your new skyline, circa 2015.
Tales of Retail
Pass the syrup—and the Kleenex, because the Death of Downtown lamentations are only going to get louder as the Village gets its second IHOP.
There’s one in Harlem and one on East 14th Street, and soon there will be one in the West Village, too, at 80 Carmine Street. The International House of Pancakes has hit the Big Apple, folks, and it looks like it’s here to stay.
Babbo's Big Boy
Richard Rubenstein responds to being called “The Hermann Göring of publicists.” Read below:
Restaurateur and noted garbage-talker Joe Bastianich has used his new book, “Restaurant Man,” to slam just about everybody and anybody –from the NY Post’s Steve Cuozzo to attorney Warren Estis, who Mr. Bastianich angrily refers to as “the fucking antichrist of of landlord-tenant lawyers.”
SL Green Realty Corp. said Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire 304 Park Avenue South for $135 million. The 215,000-square-foot building is located on the southwest corner of Park Avenue South and 23rd Street—not far from Madison Square Park and across the street from the REIT’s One Madison Avenue.
Construction employment in the city fell to its lowest level in over 10 years according to a report released this morning by the New York Building Congress.
Jobs in the industry fell to 102,600, the industry group said, a three percent decline from a year ago and 20 percent below the peak employment year of Read More
Data from DebtX shows that aggregate commercial real estate values that the loan sale advisor priced and that collateralize CMBS increased over the month of April, continuing a several month trend.
These loan values rose from 87.3 percent as of March 31, 2012 to 88.1 percent as of April 30, 2012. At the end of this past February, CMBS-collateralized loans were at 86.9 percent. Meanwhile, looking back a full year from the most recent April data to the figure as of April 30, 2011, they stood at 80.9 percent.
Caché, a mall-oriented purveyor of womenswear, will be consolidating two of its New York City offices into a singular one at 256 West 38th Street, according to published reports.
Childrens Creative Learning Centers has signed a lease to take a 5,500-square-foot retail space at Four New York Plaza for an early childhood education and care center, the company announced.
CCLC operates another such facility at 90 Park Avenue, which opened earlier this year.
Blind item: Which architecture firm displayed a mind-boggling model for a skyscraper that may well never be built, at least in this lovely form, on the corner of Broadway and 57th Street for Gary Barnett? The model was on display last night inside one of the firm’s downtown projects, which is all The Observer can say lest we give the devilish designers away.
Yesterday, The Journal (rightly) complained the lack of progress at two major affordable housing projects, Hudson Yards and Willets Point. This got The Observer wondering about another, though: whatever happened to Hunters Point South, which was approved the same day almost four years ago as the Willets Point project.
Things are moving along quite nicely, it turns out.
It may seem as though there has been limited tangible progress since Related Companies was tapped to develop the project in February of last year, but that is because most of the work is being done below the surface—with on the banks of the East River and the banks of housing finance.
Joseph Harbert’s surprise jump from Cushman & Wakefield to Colliers International earlier this month puts him at the forefront of the company’s push to become one of the top real estate services firms.
“Our goal is to break into the top five,” Mr. Harbert told The Commercial Observer in his first conversation since joining Colliers Read More
A total of 6.3 million square feet of office space has been leased out in the first two months of the 2nd quarter in 2012, already well above the 5.57 million square feet that was leased out in the previous quarter, according to a recent Jones Lang LaSalle report.
Approximately 4 million square feet of Read More
The boom is back on the Far West Side.
In addition to the Related Companies and Brookfield’s work at Hudson Yards, and now Extell’s reappearance on the scene, Larry Silverstein is moving forward with a new 60-story residential tower on West 40th Street, according to The Real Deal. It will be on the same block as Mr. Silverstein’s twinned Silver Towers, which also rise to 60 stories, which should make for an interesting trio on the skyline.