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Lauren Elkies Schram

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

REBNY 2015

REBNY Ticktock: An Itinerary to Follow Thursday Night at the Hilton

Big clock

Want to know where to be and when at the Real Estate Board of New York’s 119th gala Thursday night? In addition to the banquet with its honorees, there are a slew of cocktail parties—all at the New York Hilton hotel in Midtown—where you will have more opportunities to hobnob with a who’s who in real estate before wandering down the hall to the grand ballroom for the banquet. Read More

REBNY 2015

An Etiquette Guide to the 2015 REBNY Gala

(Illustration by Luke McGarry)

While Emily Post is the queen of all forms of etiquette, we doubt she has ever codified the behavior of real estate professionals attending the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual gala.

Held on Thursday, Jan. 15, the $1,100-per-ticket REBNY banquet at the New York Hilton Hotel is a breeding ground for hobnobbing and celebration. With more than 2,000 people in attendance, it can be a wild night. As Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope Consolo said: “This is not an easy audience to control. Real estate in New York is like one big theater. Everyone in real estate thinks they’re in Hollywood.” So, for folks who plan to attend the industry’s biggest night out, Commercial Observer asked event veterans for some advice on how to have a fruitful night at the New York Hilton for the 119th annual banquet. Read More

REBNY 2015

Industry Veterans Offer Pearls of Wisdom for REBNY’s Incoming President

LePatner, Barry B   BBL color

With less than two months to go before John Banks assumes the president-elect position at the powerful Real Estate Board of New York, industry professionals are mulling the next chapter at the organization. Mr. Banks, the current vice president of government relations at Consolidated Edison, will replace Steven Spinola after the latter’s almost three decades as REBNY’s president. Here is some of the advice that real estate players had to offer Mr. Banks:   Read More

Sales Beat

Spear Street Capital Closes Sale of 315 PAS for $353.9M

315 Park Avenue South.

Spear Street Capital has closed on the sale of 315 Park Avenue South to Columbia Property Trust for $353.9 million, according to property records.

The sale closed on Jan. 7 and appeared in city records today. The New York Post first reported when the 20-story, 330,000-square-foot-tower went into contract. Spear Street Capital bought the office building between East 23rd and East 24th Streets for $234.3 million in 2013.  Read More

REBNY 2015

REBNY 2015

(Illustration by Chris Morris)

This year’s Real Estate Board of New York gala (see our handy etiquette guide and an itinerary to follow Thursday night) marks the final time in nearly 30 years that Steven Spinola (see the sit-down with Mr. Spinola) is the sitting president of the organization, as 2014 ushered in his successor, John Banks (check out a profile of Mr. Banks). In a nod to Mr. Spinola’s good works (see the timeline), he will be given The Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award at REBNY’s annual banquet this week (see the profiles on the honorees, Mr. Spinola, William Rudin, Barbara Fox, Peter Hauspurg, Daniel Kindbergh and Glen Weiss).

Also in 2014, New York City got its first taste in 20 years of a new mayor who was not named Giuliani or Bloomberg; Bill de Blasio introduced an ambitious affordable housing plan to preserve and build 200,000 affordable housing units, and 1 World Trade Center opened as Condé Nast employees started to move in, marking a significant day for Lower Manhattan’s revival. (Check out the REBNY president’s hall of fame.) Read More

Sales Beat

Trio of Developers Close on $24.1M Murray Hill Purchase

587-591 Third Avenue.

Charles Blaichman‘s CB Developers, Ironstate Development and SK Development Group have purchased three adjacent walkup buildings in Murray Hill for $24.1 million, Commercial Observer has learned. The sale is not yet recorded with the city.

J.T. Tai & Company, a Chinese nonprofit foundation, sold the rental buildings at 587-591 Third Avenue between East 38th and East 39th Streets after more than 30 years of ownership. The trio of developers will combine them with the 18-story, 91-unit residential site they are developing next door at 593-597 Third Avenue, a source with knowledge of the deal said. Read More