Lauren Elkies Schram

Sales Beat

Hornig, Savanna Close on $31M Bronx Building, Rebrand It ‘Bruckner Building’

2415 Third Avenue (Photo: Alex Bitar).

Hornig Capital Partners and Savanna have closed on the $31 million purchase of a South Bronx commercial loft building from Madhatters Realty, Commercial Observer has learned. The buyers will launch a $12 million capital improvement plan and rebrand the property, which is located across the Third Avenue Bridge from Bruckner Boulevard, as The Bruckner Building.

The eight-story, 172,000-square-foot building is at 2417 Third Avenue and sits at at the corner of Third Avenue and East 134th Street in the Mott Haven section of the borough. Read More

Lease Beat

Bloomie’s Heading to UWS With Outlet [Updated]

Urban outfitters at 2085 Broadway (Photo: CoStar).

Say goodbye to Urban Outfitters on West 72nd Street and hello to Bloomingdale’s.

The department store has signed a 15-year lease for 24,985 square feet spanning three stories at 2085 Broadway and will take possession of the space when Urban Outfitters’ lease expires in July, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer. FedEx Office Print & Ship Center, which occupies 4,500 square feet on the ground floor in a space that once housed HMV‘s classical music section, will remain. The source suspects that price drove Urban Outfitters from the location. Read More

The Sit-Down

How the Walentas Family Ended Up With a $2B W’burg Project and Why Jed Calls His Dad David

Jed Walentas.

There are few names more synonymous with Brooklyn real estate (and Dumbo in particular) than Two Trees Management Company. Indeed, the company owns and manages much of Dumbo with 12 buildings comprising more than 3 million square feet of commercial and residential space. All told, the company’s holdings include more than 4 million square feet of built commercial, industrial and residential real estate throughout the United States.

Led by company founder David Walentas since 1968, Two Trees single-handedly transformed Dumbo—the acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass—from a neglected waterfront into one of the priciest mixed-use communities in the city. Read More

Sales Beat

Frenchman Buys Mixed-Use Little Italy Building for $17M

167 Mott Street (photo: CoStar).

A French investor who requested anonymity has purchased a multi-family building in Little Italy, Commercial Observer has learned. The sale closed this afternoon.

Khashy Eyn, the chief executive officer of Platinum Properties, said the buyer paid just shy of $17 million for the walk-up building at 167 Mott Street between Broome and Grand Streets. The seven-story, 17,600-square-foot rental building was erected in 1900, according to Mr. Eyn. It has 26 residential units, with a mix of free-market and rent-stabilized tenants, and two 500-square-foot retail spaces on the ground floor. One of the retail tenants signed a deal last May with an asking rent of $108 per square foot, CoStar indicates. Read More

Sales Beat

B&B Global Development Snaps Up Greenpoint Property for Record $4.8M

977 Manhattan Avenue.

B&B Global Development has purchased a three-story, 14,300-square-foot, mixed-use building in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, for $4.8 million. Despite 977 Manhattan Avenue selling for less than its latest $4.995 million asking price, Jeffrey Schleider of Miron Properties said it is a record price for a mixed-use building in that neighborhood. Mr. Schleider brokered the sale along with colleague Bram Lefevere.

B&B plans to build a 17,500-square-foot mixed-use building with 3,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor and residential condominiums above, according to Victor Baranes, the president of B&B. He said the building will be eight stories with 14 apartments. Mr. Baranes has tapped Gerald J. Caliendo Architect as the architect for the project. Read More

Architecture & Design

High Line Architect Designs Oasis on West 23rd Street

Rendering of rooftop at 50 West 23rd Street (credit: H5 Property).

Landscape architect James Corner of James Corner Field Operations, whose design turned an abandoned elevated train track on the Far West Side into a popular public park, is now hoping to provide a similar transformation—this time 11 stories above ground.

Two Trees Management Company hired the High Line‘s lead designer to create a new 10,600-square-foot rooftop garden and outdoor work space on the 11th floor of the 14-story building at 50 West 23rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. It will be a place for meetings, parties, presentations and eating lunch, said Jed Walentas, a principal at Two Trees, when it opens in the third quarter of the year. Read More

Buildings and Construction

DOB Overwhelmed by Construction Demand

Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler (Photo: Michael Nagle/for Commercial Observer).

The Department of Buildings‘ review of new building plans has slowed to a crawl because the city agency is getting buried under an avalanche of permit applications.

According to the most recent agency performance report from the Mayor’s Office of Operations, when it comes to new buildings it is taking the city’s DOB nearly twice as long to complete the first plan review, which is the period from the complete submission of the application to the date the plan examiner is able to issue a decision upon the submitted plans. That process has risen to an average of 15.7 days in the fiscal year to date compared with 8.5 in the previous FYTD, the data indicate. Read More

On the Market

City Seeks Developer for Seven-Acre Parcel Near JFK Airport

The seven-acre site referred to as JFK North (NYCEDC's RFEI).

The city is looking for a developer to purchase a fee interest or a long-term lease and then redevelop a seven-acre parcel along the south side of Rockaway Boulevard near John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“This is an ideal location for businesses that benefit from the proximity to JFK International Airport,” according to the New York City Economic Development Corp.‘s recent request for expressions of interest, or RFEI. Read More


Worker Injured During Demo for TF Cornerstone Luxe Building [Updated]

Scene of building collapse at  642 West 57th Street.

A construction worker suffered minor injuries in Midtown when part of a wall collapsed at a vacant building where TF Cornerstone will erect a luxury apartment building, according to officials.

FDNY Deputy Assistant Chief Dan Donoghue said at a press conference this afternoon that at 2:30 p.m., the New York City Fire Department received a call about a collapsed building on West 57th Street. When the fire fighters arrived at 642 West 57th Street between 11th and 12th Avenues, they saw the building had “collapsed inwards,” the chief said. Read More

Lease Beat

Asset Manager Expands to 26K SF at 1350 Avenue of the Americas

1350 Avenue of the Americas.

A global alternative asset manager focused on event-driven investment opportunities has signed an early renewal and expansion at 1350 Avenue of the Americas, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

P. Schoenfeld Asset Management occupies 20,000 square feet on the 20th and 21st floors at SL Green Realty Corp.‘s building between West 54th and West 55th Streets, and signed a 10-year lease to grow its space to 25,854 square feet amassing those two floors in their entirety, the source said. Read More


Le Opening: Le District is Opening in a Month, Part of Downtown’s Culinary Revolution

OOH LA LA: Le District of Brookfield Place should be a French version of Eataly (Photo: Emily Assiran/Commercial Observer.

Hear ye, hear ye, Downtown office workers: Plan on loosening the notches on your belts in the coming months, because by the end of March (or the beginning of April), Downtown Manhattan’s dining options are about to go into the stratosphere.

The 30,000-square-foot French-themed market and 520-seat dining zone, Le District, will be opening at the newly renovated Brookfield Place in Battery Park City. It will also include a 25-seat fine dining chef’s table concept, set to open in May. Read More

Sales Beat

Four W’burg Properties Sell for 16.5 Times the Rent Roll

949-959 Metropolitan Avenue.

Sal Mendolia‘s Cormen Enterprise yesterday sold four contiguous rent-stabilized properties on Metropolitan Avenue in East Williamsburg for $9 million, the brokers in the deal told Commercial Observer.

The four four-story, eight-unit properties, which span 949-959 Metropolitan Avenue between Olive Street and Morgan Avenue, sold for 16.5 times the rent roll, said Marcus & Millichap broker Shaun Riney. He and his Marcus & Millichap colleagues Mike Salvatico and Jim Saros represented the buyer in the deal and co-marketed the property with EXR Group‘s Sam Rubin and Mario Faggiano. Read More

Lease Beat

Global Marketing Tech Firm Relocating to Flatiron District

114 Fifth Avenue.

Acxiom Corporation has signed a lease for the entire 19,326-square-foot seventh floor at L&L Holdings114 Fifth Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The global marketing technology and services company will be moving from 240 West 37th Street in an eight-year deal, according to Andrew Stein of Vicus Partners, who represented the tenant in the relocation. The asking rent was $85 per square foot, he said. Read More

Lease Beat

Baked by Melissa’s Pick-Up Window Returning to Soho

Tie-Dye Baked by Melissa cupcake (Baked by Melissa website).

Less than a year after the closing of a Baked by Melissa pass-through window on Spring Street, the mini-cupcake specialists are returning with a window on the same street, a source with intimate knowledge of the deal told Commercial Observer.

Baked by Melissa launched its bite-size cupcake business in the city with a window at 80 Spring Street in March 2009. That shop closed on July 21, 2014 before a construction project at Broadway and Spring Street commenced, as Grub Street previously reported. Now, Baked by Melissa will be setting up a new window at JTRE‘s 63 Spring Street at the corner of Spring and Lafayette Streets.  Read More

Lease Beat

Animal Adoption Center, Shelter Relocating on Centre Street

200 Centre Street.

Animal Haven is moving to a 5,800-square-foot space at 200 Centre Street in Chinatown/Soho, the non-profit animal adoption center and shelter’s broker told Commercial Observer. Animal Haven will be moving to the entire 2,600-square-foot ground-floor and entire 3,200-square-foot basement this fall, said Gregory Kim of Veracity Real Estate, from a smaller space at 251 Centre Street at the corner of Broome Street in Soho.

The asking rent in the 12-year deal was $150 per square foot, Mr. Kim said. Read More