Lauren Elkies Schram

ICSC 2015

Empire Outlets Developer Amping Up Amenities

Rendering of Empire Outlets in Staten Island.

BFC Partners may have just broken ground on the 340,0000-square-foot Staten Island retail complex Empire Outlets in April, but the developer is already lining up service packages for its future shoppers, Commercial Observer has learned.

Bags Inc., which has a service partnership with the Walt Disney World Resort, has partnered with Empire Outlets to provide the professional concierge agents for the mall’s guest services kiosks, providing currency exchange, stroller rentals, shipping and package storage, according to information provided by BFC’s spokeswoman. Read More

Sales Beat, ICSC 2015

Bill Ackman and Georgetown Close on 787 11th Avenue, Plan for Rooftop Tennis

787 11th Avenue (Photo: CoStar).

A partnership between The Georgetown Company and Bill Ackman has closed on 787 11th Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned, and plans to build a tennis court atop the building.

Mr. Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, will move into part of the eight-story building, a source with knowledge of the sale said. Georgetown chief executive officer Adam Flatto led the purchase, and brought Mr. Ackman in as a partner, the source added.   Read More

Lease Beat, ICSC 2015

Saks Making Foray Into Outer Boroughs With Off 5th Outlet Store in Brooklyn


Saks is poised to enter the outer boroughs with an Off Fifth discount store in the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn, Commercial Observer has learned.

The department store has signed a letter of intent to bring the discount shopping concept to Liberty View Industrial Plaza at 850 Third Avenue, Marvin Schein of Salmar Properties, the project’s developer, confirmed. Saks plans to take roughly 30,000 square feet on the ground level of the eight-story building, a source with knowledge of the deal said. Read More

Lease Beat

Core Takes Space for Fourth Office in Manhattan

149 Fifth Avenue.

Core has leased 5,500 square feet at 149 Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District, marking the Manhattan residential real estate firm’s fourth office, Commercial Observer has learned.

The new 11th-floor digs between East 21st and East 22nd Streets will accommodate 40 to 50 agents, who will commence working there this fall, Core indicated. The firm’s director of sales, Douglas Heddings, is meeting with prospective agents to populate the new office.  Read More

The Lobby

Lori Shabtai Joins Town Commercial

Lori Shabtai.

Lori Shabtai, who left Winick Realty Group in February 2014 and two months later launched Lori Shabtai and Associates, has joined Town Commercial as a broker, Commercial Observer has learned.

“I am comfortable in a boutique venue, especially one that will allow me to still interact globally and regionally with tenants and landlords as their broker,” Ms. Shabtai emailed CO. “I also love the opportunity of working with a smaller team of diversified talent. I so admire the vision and synergy of Town. The DNA of the brand is compelling, modern and elegant.” Read More

Lease Beat

Drybar Will Be Offering Blowouts at Brookfield Place

Brookfield Place (Photo: Emily Assiran/Commercial Observer).

Drybar has inked a 10-year lease next to Babesta, the trendy baby boutique, at Brookfield Place, Brookfield Office Properties told Commercial Observer. The salon, with its $40 blowouts, is slated to open in the fall.

The California-based blowout specialist has taken 1,498 square feet on the second floor at the Lower Manhattan complex, Brookfield said. The rent was around $120 per square foot, according to a source with knowledge of the deal. Drybar has 42 locations open nationwide with eight of them in New York City and more on the way. Read More

ICSC 2015

Robert K. Futterman Is Expanding All Over the Map, but He’s Got His Sights Set on Downtown Manhattan

Robert Futterman has his sights on Downtown Manhattan (Photo: Celeste Sloman/Commercial Observer).

Robert K. Futterman has a packed itinerary while in Las Vegas for the International Council of Shopping Centers’ RECon, but he made sure to schedule appointments with primo brokers from Boston and Washington, D.C. That’s because his firm is considering a foray into those markets.

Mr. Futterman, the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of RKF (the “K”, in case you were wondering, stands for Kenneth), established in 1998, has eight offices in North America with 95 brokers and 45 people in support roles. Fifty-four of those brokers are in the New York office, at 521 Fifth Avenue. Read More

Lease Beat

Investment Advisory Firm Relocating to 640 Fifth Avenue

640 Fifth Avenue (Photo: CoStar).

HS Management Partners will be relocating its corporate headquarters to a larger space at 640 Fifth Avenue at the northwest corner of West 51st Street and Fifth Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The 100 percent employee-owned investment adviser has signed a 10-year deal for 10,523 square feet on the 18th floor in the 22-story Vornado Realty Trust building, according to Savills Studley, which advised HS Management Partners on the transaction. Asking rents ranged from $110 to $115 per square foot. Read More

Buildings and Construction

DOB Getting $120M Overhaul

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

Less than a month after announcing a new initiative to help stalled construction projects get back on track, the city’s Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler is doubling down with a plan to “fundamentally reform the agency to enhance public and worker safety, slash wait times and delays and modernize all aspects of the agency to meet the needs of a 21st century city,” according to highlights of a DOB report being released today.

The department will receive an infusion of $120 million over four years which will allow for 320 new positions. Read More

Lease Beat

Bourdain Market’s NYC Location Revealed: Pier 57

Pier 57.

Food celebrity Anthony Bourdain has zeroed in on a location for his Bourdain Market: Pier 57 in the Meatpacking District, Commercial Observer has learned.

The chef is in negotiations for 100,000 square feet at the long-abandoned former shipping and passenger terminal at Pier 57, and the food hall will comprise nearly the entire retail portion at the 560,000-square-foot Pier 57, renamed “SuperPier,” at West 15th Street and the Hudson River, sources with knowledge of the deal said. Apparently the TV host is negotiating directly with the developers. Read More


Ennead Hit With $3M Design Malpractice Suit at LIC H.S.

Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (Photo: Nan Melville).

Ennead Architects, formerly Polshek Partnership, is on the hook for $3 million after failing to provide a complete and appropriate design for the construction of the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School on the border of Long Island City and Astoria in Queens, a New York Supreme Court lawsuit alleges.

Because of the shoddy work by the architectural firm, which has designed the Standard Hotel at the High Line, renovated and restored the 2,209-seat New York City Center and designed the 163,000-square-foot building for Lycée Français de New York, the New York City School Construction Authority had to file 353 change orders in connection with the construction of the public school at 35-12 35th Avenue, the suit says. Read More

Lease Beat

NYC Charter School Center to Stay at Trinity Building

111 Broadway (Photo: CoStar).

Nonprofit NYC Charter School Center is remaining at Trinity Building at 111 Broadway in Lower Manhattan for another 10 years, JLL announced.

NYC Charter School Center, which helps new charter schools get started and supports existing schools, leases 9,304 square feet in Capital Properties‘ 21-story, 485,000-square-foot landmarked building at Broadway and Thames Street, which, along with 115 Broadway, is called Trinity Centre. Rents in the building typically are around $49 per square foot, according to CoStar Group. Read More

Sales Beat

KKR Looking to Invest at Related’s Hudson Yards

Rendering of 10 Hudson Yards.

After nearly two decades at Sheldon Solow’s 9 West 57th Street, private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is looking to make a move to an office condominium at Hudson Yards, Commercial Observer has learned.

The global investment firm occupies 161,000 square feet at 9 West 57th Street on floors 10, 11, 14, 16, 41 and 42, according to CoStar Group, a space that will be small in comparison with the 400,000-square-foot condo it is considering buying in Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group‘s 17-million-square-foot, 28-acre mixed-used development emerging on the West Side of Manhattan. Read More