Lauren Elkies Schram

Lease Beat

Event Producer Snaps Up Industry City Space

Industry City. (Sarah Dorio)

Full-service event design, planning and production company David Stark Design and Production has signed a lease for 38,000 square feet at Brooklyn’s Industry City.

The Brooklyn firm will move into the 40-acre Sunset Park complex in early 2015, according to a release from Industry City. Its current digs are in a 5,000-square-foot production space in Carroll Gardens and a 9,000-square-foot storage space in Gowanus, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported news of the deal. Read More

Wrecking Ball

NoMad Parish House Soon To Come Down

Rendering of 30 East 31st Street. (Eckstein Development Group)

Eckstein Development Group has filed an application to tear down the Madison Avenue Baptist Church‘s historic 1906 parish house at 30 East 31st Street, according to Department of Buildings records.

The development group is planning to erect a $90 million condominium in partnership with Pinnacle Real Estate, according to Ekstein’s website. The project is slated to break ground in the fourth quarter of this year.  Read More

Lease Beat

Insurance Company Inks Lease at RFR’s Seagram Building

The Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue.

Berkley Insurance Company has snapped up 7,817 square feet in a 10-year lease at the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The deal, which was signed at the end of last month, gives the firm a new space for its senior executive leadership on the 27th floor of the RFR Realty building, which is between 52nd and 53rd streets. Berkley is building out the space and anticipates moving into the building at the start of 2015, according to a spokesman for RFR. Read More

On the Market

Home to The Paris Cafe, Other Seaport Building Hit Market

116-119 South Street.

Two mixed-use buildings, including one that is home to The Paris Cafe, have hit the market for $25.8 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

The buildings are the five-story 116-119 South Street, historically known as the Meyer’s Hotel and Paris Cafe, and at 108 South Street, which is a vacant 5.5-story, mixed-use building. The two properties are being offered for sale individually, or as a portfolio for $25.75 million with Eastern Consolidated‘s Adelaide Polsinelli and James Famularo. Read More

Lease Beat

Women’s Healthcare Network Opening in Harlem [Updated]

1845 Adam Clayton Powell   Jr. Boulevard.

Trinity Women’s Care will be coming to 1845 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard between 112 and 113th Streets.

The women’s healthcare network has leased a 1,325-square-foot space at a rent of $40 per square foot, according to the spokeswoman for the landlord’s brokers, Douglas Elliman‘s Faith Hope Consolo, Joseph Aquino and Arthur Maglio. John Masserano of Masserano Real Esate and Consulting represented the tenant. Read More

The Plan

The Plan: The Brooklyn Whale Building

The Whale Building.

The Brooklyn Whale Building, a 400,000-square-foot industrial property along the Sunset Park waterfront, is being redesigned for commercial tenants, especially those in the tech, media and creative arts fields.

Boddewyn Gaynor Architects is working on the $5 million renovation of the seven-floor, full-block former Whale Oil Company headquarters at 14 53rd Street. 601 West Associates, headed by Harry Skydell, acquired the site in 2011 for $25.4 million and the renovations commenced about two years ago. Read More

Power Broker

David Ehrenberg On Overseeing the Brooklyn Navy Yard

David Ehrenberg. (Lea Rubin Photography)

The first thing David Ehrenberg sees as he approaches his workplace, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is Building 77. In his rearview mirror, the last thing Mr. Ehrenberg sees as he departs each day is that 960,000-square-foot under-construction building.

“That creates a level of ownership,” said Mr. Ehrenberg last week as he gave Commercial Observer a tour of the 300-acre waterfront industrial campus that the city owns and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Corporation manages. That sense of ownership is one of the aspects of the job that piqued Mr. Ehrenberg’s interest when he was tapped for the president and chief executive officer positions at the non-profit organization by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the summer of 2013. He was then reappointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Read More

Lease Beat

Gawker Relocating to 114 Fifth Avenue

114 Fifth Avenue

Media company Gawker Media LLC, known for verticals Gizmodo, Jezebel, Valleywag and Deadspin, has signed a 15-year lease for 58,900 square feet spanning three full floors at 114 Fifth Avenue.

“We will be moving out of the walk-up Nolita loft space that has been our home since 2008. Earlier today, we signed a lease for three floors of 114 Fifth Avenue,” Gawker owner Nick Denton wrote in a staff memo that will go out this afternoon, and obtained by New York Observer. Gawker will have its own entrance on 17th Street. Read More

Lease Beat

Another Architecture Firm Heads to 120 Broadway

120 Broadway.

Handel Architects will join fellow architecture firms Beyer Blinder Belle and Boddewyn Gaynor Architects at Silverstein Properties120 Broadway just north of Pine Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

“They basically were able to cut their rent in half by moving downtown so it’s kinda a no-brainer when you’re staring down the barrel of a $2 million or $1 million rent,” said Bertram Rosenblatt, a founding principal of Vicus Partners and Handel’s broker in the deal. “Architects are not software companies or hedge funds. They have real expenses. They don’t have insane profits. The rent really does matter.” Read More

Take Two

Is Two Time the Charm for Blumenfeld at Admiral’s Row?

Brooklyn Navy Yard shuttle bus. (Lea Rubin)

Blumenfeld Development Group, which was dropped as the developer of the decrepit Admiral’s Row, is hoping to win a bid to redevelop the 6.08-acre site at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Commercial Observer has learned.

“We are rebidding this proposal with a portfolio of tenants excited to be part of an exciting public-private project,” Brad Blumenfeld, a vice president at BDG, emailed this past weekend. Read More

Entering Brooklyn

Gary Barnett’s Extell Enters Brooklyn With City Point Deal

City Point rendering. (City Point)

Gary Barnett‘s Extell Development Company is slated to develop residential units in what marks phase three of City Point, the mixed-use development in Downtown Brooklyn, Commercial Observer has learned.

The development deal, which is in the contract stage, represents Mr. Barnett’s first foray into Kings County. The prolific developer is undecided about whether the project will be a rental or a condominium, sources close to the deal said, but no affordable housing has been included in the plans. Read More

Sales Beat

Three Washington Heights Buildings Sell for $13.8M

1995-1997 Amsterdam Avenue.

Three Washington Heights six-story walk-up apartment buildings comprised of 53,630 square feet have sold for $13.8 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

Two of the properties, 1001 St. Nicholas Avenue and 2001-2003 Amsterdam Avenue, are contiguous and occupy the entire block front of 159th Street between Amsterdam and St. Nicholas Avenues. The third building, 1995-1997 Amsterdam Avenue, is directly across on the southeast corner of 159th Street. Together they contain 64 apartments and six mom-and-pop shops. The average in-place apartment rent is $1,200 per month. Read More

Hotel Beat

Foreigners, Corporate Types Flock to Brooklyn Hotels

The cabin at Urban Cowboy  bed and breakfast in Williamsburg.

The Brooklyn hotel market is booming.

There are 27 hotels in the development pipeline in Kings County, according to data provided by lodging industry benchmarking services firm STR to Commercial Observer, representing a 37 percent increase from the same time last year. And those 27 hotels comprise 2,378 rooms versus the 2,129 rooms in last year’s hotel pipeline. That’s an 11.6 percent uptick.

Massey Knakal Realty Services hotel sales expert Andy Posil called the investment climate for Brooklyn hotels “frothy,” in a new Brooklyn hotel report. The contributing factors, he noted in the report, are: “operational performance; demographic fundamentals; and liquid capital markets which are increasingly receptive to hotel product in the current lending environment.” Read More