Lauren Elkies Schram

Construction Beat

NoHo’s 22 Bond Finally Evolving into a Condo

Rendering of 22 Bond Street.

The building at 22 Bond Street has long been in the remaking, but an end—as a condominium—appears in sight.

The developers are “in the process of transitioning from a hotel project to residential,” said Gregory Atkins, project executive at Second Development Services. The firm is developing the six-unit condo, also known as 25 Great Jones Street since it extends through the block, along with Richport Group. “We’re just working out kinks.” Read More

Lease Beat

Haifa-Related Non-Profit Opening in FiDi

80 Broad Street

The American Society of the University of Haifa is setting up shop at 80 Broad Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The non-profit organization, which promotes American-Israeli interests and values by serving as the bridge between the University of Haifa and Israel-minded Americans, is taking 2,305 square feet on a portion of the 21st floor. The lease is for seven years in the building, which is between Stone and Beaver Streets. Read More


475 PAS $40M Rehab Nears Completion

Rendering of 475 Park Avenue South

Cohen Brothers is finishing up a $40 million multi-year renovation at 475 Park Avenue South that will transform the exterior of the building with seamless high-tech expansive windows and a white frit pattern, Commercial Observer has learned.

“Nobody’s spending that kind of money” for a commercial building, said Marc Horowitz, director of office leasing at Cohen Brothers. “This will be the nicest [commercial] building, hands down, on Park Avenue South, that exists.” Read More

Sales Beat

Old 21st Precinct Station House in Gramercy Area Sells

327 East 22nd Street.

The former 21st Precinct station house, which served as a Gramercy Park-area group residence for 25 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer young people, has sold for $11.5 million to Suzuki Capital.

Green Chimneys, a Brewster, NY-based nonprofit organization that provides residential, educational, clinical and recreational services to young people, paid $1.7 million for the property, at 327 East 22nd Street, in 1998, although it had leased space there since 1983, according to Green Chimneys’ executive director, Joseph Whalen. When a contract with the city’s Administration for Children’s Services expired last year, Green Chimneys moved its residents out and decided to sell the building, which was dubbed Gramercy Residence at Ungar House. Read More

On the Market

Former Borders Store on East 57th Street Nearly Ready for Occupancy

Rendering of 461-465 Park Avenue.

The retail condominium vacated by Borders bookstore at 461-465 Park Avenue is almost ready for occupancy by retail and medical office tenants, Commercial Observer has learned.

Cohen Brothers Realty is putting the finishing touches on what was a 42,600-square-foot Borders at the base of the Ritz Tower on 57th Street in Midtown,according to Marc Horowitz, director of office leasing at Cohen Brothers. Read More

Sales Beat

San Francisco-based Prana Investments Sells Bronx Apartment Building for $10.5M

1530 Sheridan Avenue.

A longtime Bronx landlord has paid San Francisco-based Prana Investments $10.5 million for a six-story building with 84 apartments in the Claremont section of the Bronx, Commercial Observer has learned.

The 96,000-square-foot elevator property “offers investors upside and scale,” Besen & AssociatesAmit Doshi, who represented both sides in the deal at 1530 Sheridan Avenue, said in a prepared statement. Read More

On the Market

Cobble Hill Met Foods Quietly Listed, Receiving $20M-Plus Bids

197 Smith Street.

Met Foods, which has had a history of failed health inspections, has been quietly put on the market, sources told Commercial Observer, and its sale could transform an area with a dearth of big blocks of available space.

The 10,000-square-foot property, at 197 Smith Street, has apparently been receiving bids exceeding $20 million. The new owner could build a 20,000-square-foot property at the site, between Baltic and Warren Streets. Read More

Lease Beat

J. Crew Paying $90PSQ Plus $3.5M in Improvements for W’burg Store

234-236 Wythe Avenue.

Global apparel chain J. Crew has signed a 6,000-square-foot lease in Williamsburg at $90 per square foot and has agreed to pay millions of dollars in significant improvements to the property, a source with knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

The New York-based chain is bowing in a single-story warehouse building at 234-236 Wythe Avenue, near North 4th Street. There is speculation that the retailer will build a multi-level store as it did in Cobble Hill. Read More

Lease Beat

Fresh & Co. Nesting Where Chirping Chicken Flew the Coop on UES

1260 Lexington Avenue

Fresh & Co. has taken a space on the Upper East Side that Chirping Chicken vacated not too long ago.

The healthy quick-serve offerings chain signed a 15-year lease for 1,200 square feet at 1260 Lexington Avenue at 85th Street, marking the eatery’s 10th location in Manhattan. Fresh & Co. is commencing work on the space in 30 days, according to Lee & Associates NYC‘s Brad Schwarz, who represented the tenant and landlords Jason and Ryan Sorkin of White Plains-based Sierra Assets Group, in the deal. Read More

The Sit-Down

Gale Brewer and the Battle Against 7-Eleven

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in her 1 Centre Street office.

Gale Brewer has lived on the Upper West Side since 1970. She served as the area’s City Council member for 12 years, concluding at the end of 2013, before starting as the 27th Manhattan borough president. Ms. Brewer, who plans to open a ground-floor district office on West 125th Street, joined with city preservationists earlier this month to call for reforms to the landmarking process following the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s refusal to consider landmark status for the Rizzoli Bookstore building at 31 West 57th Street. As Manhattan Beep, Ms. Brewer is tasked with advising the mayor and City Council on borough concerns, providing feedback on all land-use matters, advocating for New York County in the municipal budget process and appointing members of the 12 community boards. Ms. Brewer successfully advocated for the passage of legislation while in the City Council that would compel landlords to fix repeat violations as well as a law that requires all city data be published online. In February, Commercial Observer chatted with Ms. Brewer in her office at 1 Centre Street about adjusting to her new position, her beef with 7-Elevens and the easiest and most challenging developers to work with. Read More