Lauren Elkies Schram

Sales Beat

Benchmark Sells Flatiron District Residential Building for $13.4M

28 West 26th Street.

Less than three years after buying a 27-unit residential building in the Flatiron District, Benchmark Real Estate Group has sold it for roughly double what it picked it up for, property records indicate.

Long Island-based Gould Investors purchased the seven-story elevator building at 28 West 26th Street for $13.4 million from Benchmark. The deal closed on Jan. 8 and was recorded with the city on Jan. 21. Benchmark bought the building for $6.3 million in April 2012. Read More

Lease Beat

Flushing Bank Opening Second Manhattan Branch

99 Park Avenue.

Flushing, Queens-based Flushing Bank is preparing to open its second Manhattan branch and its first office in the borough, Crain’s New York Business reported.

The bank signed a 6,541-square-foot ground-floor and lower-level retail lease for the branch and a 5,727-square-foot office lease on part of the eighth floor at 99 Park Avenue between East 39th and East 40th Streets, the publication said. Read More

Lease Beat

Tech Company Expands at 17 State Street

17 State Street.

6D Global Technologies, which helps organizations optimize their digital experience, has expanded at 17 State Street by nearly 9,000 square feet, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company took an additional 8,887 square feet on part of the 25th floor, bringing its total footprint to 13,400 square feet in RFR Realty‘s 42-story office tower at Pearl Street across from Battery Park. The lease, signed this week, is for five years, a spokesman for RFR said, with an asking rent of $70 per square foot. Read More

Lease Beat

French-Inspired Rotisserie Chicken Coming to UWS [Updated]

426 Amsterdam Avenue.

Poulette is getting even more serious about its French-inspired rotisserie chicken, opening a second Manhattan eatery, Commercial Observer has learned.

The new 650-square-foot spot is on the ground floor of a five-story Upper West Side residential building at 426 Amsterdam Avenue between West 80th and West 81st Streets. It was occupied by a newsstand until the end of last year. The 10-year lease includes a full-storage basement and an asking rent of $240 per square foot, according to a spokeswoman for Eastern Consolidated. Read More

Lease Beat

Consumer Brands Company Snags 10K SF in Flatiron District

276 Fifth Avenue.

MindsInSync is moving to a 10,000-square-foot space a bit south and east of its current location at 1350 Broadway between West 35th and West 36th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned.

The global consumer goods company that invented the original memory foam bath mat is moving to a suite on the fifth floor of the 11-story 276 Fifth Avenue at 30th Street, according to a spokeswoman for EVO Real Estate Group, the brokerage representing landlord, Shlomo Bakhash‘s the Kash Group, in the deal. The lease is for 10 years and the asking rent is $65 per square foot, the spokeswoman indicated. Read More


The Boys’ Club: Are Men From Mars and Women from Venus When it Comes to NYC CRE?

Scale of women is heavier on the residential real estate side.

It’s not easy working in New York City real estate, but it’s even more challenging for women, especially on the commercial side.

“I can tell you all the times I say, ‘I’m a real estate developer,’ ” said Abby Hamlin, the president of real estate development company and civic consulting studio Hamlin Ventures. “They say, ‘You sell apartments?’ Then I say, ‘I guess I sell apartments, but first I build them.’ [Laughs] ‘Oh, you mean you’re an architect?’ ‘No, I’m a developer.’ ” Read More

Wrecking Ball

JDS, Largo Seek Wrecking Ball on West 24th Street

514-518 West 24th Street.

JDS Development Group and Largo Investments are seeking a permit to tear down their three-story building at 514-518 West 24th Street, according to Department of Buildings records.

The joint venture bought the building, which is between 10th and 11th Avenues and neighbors Cary Tamarkin’s condominium building at 508 West 24th Street, for $34.8 million last July, property records indicate. Read More

Lease Beat

Personal Injury Law Firm Moves Within Midtown East

747 Third Avenue.

Law firm Trolman, Glaser & Lichtman is moving two blocks south of its Midtown East offices to William Kaufman Organization‘s 747 Third Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

Specializing in personal injury, the law firm has taken 9,310 square feet in a 10-year deal spanning the entire 23rd floor of the 39-story building between East 46th and East 47th Streets, according to Avison Young, which brokered the deal on behalf of the tenant. Read More

Lease Beat

TransSystems, RWDSU Lease Space at Feil’s 7 Penn Plaza

7 Penn Plaza.

Feil Organization this month has signed new leases with two new tenants at its 7 Penn Plaza, bringing the 368,000-square-foot Garment Center building to more than 95 percent leased, the organization announced today.

Retail Wholesale and Department Store Union, or RWDSU, which represents 100,000 men and women in a variety of occupations in the U.S. and Canada, has taken 23,000 square feet on the fifth floor and 7,500 square feet on the 14th floor. CBRE‘s Brian Gell and Laurence Briody represented the tenant in the deal. The relocation lease is for 15 years. Read More

The Sit-Down

CBRE’s Stephen Siegel on the World Trade Center, Working With His Kids and Sarabeth’s

Steven Siegel. (Sasha Maslov)

Last September, Stephen Siegel co-represented Hudson’s Bay Company, parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, in its plans to consolidate its New York City offices and relocate to 410,000 square feet at Brookfield Place. The transaction included additional space at 225 Liberty Street and 250 Vesey Street. That was the ninth largest lease signed in all of 2014.

Mr. Siegel is no stranger to big deals as the chairman of global brokerage at CBRE, where he has worked since the firm acquired Insignia Financial Group in 2003. Prior to the merger, Mr. Siegel was the president of Insignia Financial Group and the chairman and chief executive officer of Insignia/ESG, the latter of which was the commercial real estate division of Insignia Financial Group. (Insignia Financial Group acquired Edward S. Gordon Company, or ESG, then New York’s largest commercial real estate company, in 1996.) Read More

Sales Beat

Stagg Group Picks Up Bronx Site, Plans Second Webster Avenue Rental Project

3084 Webster Avenue and 410-414 East 203rd Street.

Fresh off receiving 50,000 applications for affordable housing at its soon-to-open Bedford Park Manor in the Bronx, Stagg Group has scooped up another site on the newly rezoned Webster Avenue with plans for another residential rental building.

Mount Vernon-based Stagg paid $4.1 million for a Norwood area property at 3084 Webster Avenue, in a deal including the adjoining 410-414 East 203rd Street, that closed last month and was recorded with the city last Wednesday. Direct private bridge lender Titan Capital ID provided a $2.9 million loan at a 70 percent loan-to-value ratio. The site looks like “a gun pointing west,” said Adolfo Carrión, Jr., the executive vice president for Stagg. Read More

Sales Beat

Sam Chang Closes on $22.5M Garment Center Purchase

338-340 West 39th Street.

McSam Hotel Group‘s Sam Chang has closed on his $22.5 million purchase of the industrial loft building at 338-340 West 39th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, Commercial Observer has learned. He went into contract to purchase the building between Eighth and Ninth Avenues at the beginning of December, as Commercial Observer previously reported, and the deal closed last Thursday, Mr. Chang said.

Mr. Chang said he wanted the site because it’s adjacent to what was global digital advertising agency R/GA‘s home at 350 West 39th Street, which the hotelier bought last October for $112 millionRead More

REBNY 2015

REBNY’s 119th Gala Through the Five Senses

REBNY gala

Last night, 2,300 of Steven Spinola’s closest friends gathered at the New York Hilton Hotel at 1335 Avenue of the Americas between West 53rd and West 54th Streets to help usher in his retirement after nearly 30 years as president of the Real Estate Board of New York. At REBNY’s 119th annual banquet, Mr. Spinola was bestowed with the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award for his dedication to both the trade organization and the city.

“We are enormously proud to honor our dear friend Steven Spinola for all the spectacular work he does for our industry,” said REBNY Chairman Rob Speyer, the president and co-chief executive officer of Tishman Speyer, in prepared remarks. “For nearly three decades, through good times and bad, Steve’s professionalism, thoughtful advocacy, and generosity of spirit has inspired our community.” Read More

Sales Beat

Savanna Acquires Meatpacking Retail Property

461West 14th Street.

Savanna has purchased a newly built, 24,682-square-foot corner retail property in the Meatpacking District underneath the High Line, Commercial Observer has learned.

The real estate private equity and asset management firm acquired 461 West 14th Street from Michael Miller and son Brandon Miller‘s Real Estate Equities and Alfieri Development, the lender and project construction manager, Savanna announced. Savanna declined to indicate the price, but a May 2014 article in The Real Deal said that Savanna made an offer of $85 million for the site on May 12. Read More

Sales Beat

Blackstone Pays $165.7M for West 41st Street Office Building

114 West 41st Street.

Leon Charney‘s L.H. Charney & Associates has sold 114 West 41st Street in the Times Square area to Blackstone Real Estate Advisors for $165.7 million, property records indicate.

The 22-floor office building between West 40th and West 41st Streets and Broadway and Avenue of the Americas two years ago underwent a $7 million capital improvement program featuring a new retail façade and lobby, as Commercial Observer previously reported. Read More