Lease Beat

GNC Leases 2,100 Square Feet at 302 Canal Street as Corridor Transforms

300 and 302 Canal Street (Credit:

GNC signed a 10-year lease (with a five-year option) for 2,100 square feet at 302 Canal Street, The Commercial Observer has learned.

It will be the health and wellness retailer’s 47th Manhattan location. The store will be evenly divided between a ground floor and basement space. The previous tenant was a local shoe and apparel store.

RKF‘s Ariel Schuster and Greg Covey represented the tenant. ABS Partners Real Estate‘s Mark Tergesen represented the landlord, Charbern Management Group. GNC’s Rory McCutcheon worked in-house on the deal. Read More

Lease Beat

55 Water Street Lands Liberty Mutual Renewal and Expansion

55 Water Street

Liberty Mutual has signed a 10-year, 120,000-square-foot lease at 55 Water Street, a success story to emerge amid a massive renovation project launched in response to a string of misfortunes brought by Hurricane Sandy.

The insurance company doubles its space in the building with the deal, moving from the 18th floor to the 22nd and 23rd floors.

“It’s great news for the landlord and it’s great news for Downtown,” said CBRE’s Brad Gerla, who represented the landlord with Mary Ann TigheHoward Fiddle and Evan Haskel.

New Water Street Corp. is putting $200 million into the building after it took on some 32 million gallons of water during the storm.  The project includes the transport of key electrical, mechanical and communications equipment to the 3rd floor and storm-proofing to protect against future disasters.

“This landlord went over and above to secure the building and to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again,” Mr. Gerla said. Read More

Midtown East Rezoning

Coalition Releases Midtown East Study, Preservationists Balk


Midtown 21C, a coalition heavy on construction companies and labor organizations advocating for the rezoning of Midtown East, yesterday released a study evaluating the area’s historic assets and development history. The focus of the study was structures targeted by preservation groups for landmark status, which could hinder rezoning proposals.

Members of the coalition include the New York Building Congress, the Building Trades Employers Association, the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, the Hotel Trades Council, 32BJ Service Employees Union and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY).

According to the study, prepared for Midtown 21C by CivicVisions LP of Philadelphia, “New York runs the risk of undermining its competitive edge by revisiting issues that were covered 30 years ago when truly iconic buildings were landmarked. If landmarks are created solely for the purpose of opposing redevelopment, they jeopardize New York’s future.” Read More

Lease Beat

Colson Patisserie Signs 4,000-Square-Foot Industry City Lease

Industry City

Colson Patisserie inked a roughly 4,000-square-foot lease at 220 East 36th Street in the Industry City complex, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The space will include a working bakery and a retail cafe component of the Belgian bakery, which opened its first Brooklyn location in 2006 at 374 9th Street in Park Slope. Colson will not be the only Industry City tenant with sweet tooth appeal: Blue Marble Ice Cream and Tumbador Chocolate already produce confections in the 16-building, 1.1-million-square-foot Sunset Park compound.

Julius Chabbott, director of real estate at Industry City, represented the landlord. Colson represented itself. Read More


Real Estate Principals Acquire Winoker Realty Company


Less than a year after Winoker Realty President David Winoker died in a parachuting accident, a group of four New York real estate principals has acquired the firm, it was announced today.

Business partners Ira Fishman and Dana Moskowitz, both of ID Real Estate Partners, are joining in the venture with Nathan Halegua and Josh Halegua of Jonis Realty and Citi-Urban Management.

Mr. Fishman was formerly part of the Winoker Realty team, from 1998 to 2008, and was one of Mr. Winoker’s partners for seven years of his tenure there Read More

Lease Beat

Paramount Merchant Funding Grabs 3K More in Garment District

Courtesy of NYRej

Paramount Merchant Funding has increased their presence in New York.

The capital funding services firm will be taking an additional 3,037 square feet at the Kaufman Organization-owned 242 West 36th Street. The firm had previously occupied 6,500 square feet in the building, bringing their total square footage to 9,537. The design of the new space will be an open floor plan with individual offices.  Read More

Lease Beat

Press Tea Opens Second Location in West Village

Courtesy of Press Tea on Twitter

Press Tea will be opening another location at 167 Seventh Avenue South.

The tea shop will be taking a 550-square-foot retail space in the West Village on the corner of Seventh Avenue South and Perry Street. Press Tea offers a variety of products, pastries, and teas with popular drinks including the cold cream green tea, Read More

the lead indicator

Should We Raise the Minimum Wage?

chandan silo for web

Among the various proposals put on the table during his State of the Union earlier this month, the president called for a higher federal minimum wage. That was guaranteed to push the ideological buttons. Along the absurdly one-dimensional political spectrum that now defines the norm of policy debate, each side has its arguments for or against such a move. The minimum wage has been around since the Great Depression, when it was set at a quarter.

For all its longevity, divided interests have not succeed in settling the minimum wage debate conclusively, in part because distributional considerations are an important part of the evaluation that clouds clear thinking on both sides. Read More

Lease Beat

Unity Yoga to Bring Hot — Not Scorching — Yoga to Harlem

Yoga instructor Sarah Rehman

Things will get hot and slippery in Harlem this summer with the arrival of Unity Yoga, a hot yoga studio set to open July 1 at 311 West 127th Street – but not too hot.

Yoga instructor Sarah Rehman, who lives in the 156-unit residential building, known as The Balton, has signed a 10-year lease for the property’s 2,500-square-foot retail space.  She will offer her specialty, a less scorching version of hot vinyasa yoga, along with a café and an industrial vibe, in a neighborhood that she said suffers from a yoga void.

“Yoga is very much a part of my everyday life and I have to go all the way Downtown or even to Brooklyn to take the kinds of classes that I like,” the yoga aficionado, social worker and graduate student at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work said.  “But there’s nothing like this Uptown.” Read More


Avison Young Team Tapped To Sell 16 West 36th Street Leasehold


Avison Young was named the exclusive agent to market for sale a 29-year leasehold at 16 West 36th Street, the Canadian firm’s fast-growing New York office announced yesterday.

Neil Helman and Charles Kingsley, both principals and members of the firm’s Capital Markets Group, are marketing the leasehold on behalf of 16 W. 36th Associates LLC, the landlord of the 13-story Midtown property with 67,271 rentable square feet.

The landlord is a partnership between a private real estate investment fund and local investor, both of whom wish to remain anonymous at this time. Read More

Sales Beat

DivcoWest, Brickman Partnership Acquires Midtown South Properties


A partnership between San Francisco-based DivcoWest and Brickman Associates has purchased a group of office buildings in Midtown South at 24-28 West 25th Street and 40 West 25th Street, it was announced today. The closing price on the portfolio was approximately $115 million.

DivcoWest is entering the New York market for the first time, James Murphy, executive managing director at Colliers, who represented the seller, Yeshiva University, told The Commercial Observer. The firm focuses on assets and markets with a high concentration of technology tenants.

“With the growth of the tech industry, it is the right time to enter the market,” Mr. Murphy said. Read More