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Lauren Elkies Schram

Sales Beat

Daten Group Buys Vacant Clinton Hill Gas Station for $7.4M

A rendering of 840 Fulton Street.

An affiliate of New York City developer The Daten Group has purchased a vacant gas station at 840 Fulton Street in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn for $7.4 million, Commercial Observer has learned. The developer plans to build a seven-story, 40,000-square-foot building on the lot, with 38 residential rental units, 20 percent of which will be affordable.

The seller of the 6,724-square-foot property, which is at Vanderbilt Avenue, is Fulvan Realty LLC, a long-term owner of multiple gas stations in the area. The deal, which closed on Sept. 30, included 3,464 square feet of air rights from the neighboring property at 848 Fulton Street, according to a spokeswoman for the Daten Group. Read More

Sales Beat

Chang Closes on R/GA Garment Center Buy

350 West 39th Street.

Sam Chang of McSam Hotel Group on Tuesday closed the $112 million purchase of 350 West 39th Street, home to global digital advertising agency R/GA, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Chang said he doesn’t know what he plans to do with the site, which is what he told Commercial Observer in June when he signed the contract. R/GA will be occupying the location until Oct. 31, 2015, Mr. Chang said, so he has time to sort it out. But the prolific hotelier could very well be considering building another hotel. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Cayuga Capital Crowdfunds Part of $7M Bushwick Buy

294 Harman Street.

Developer Cayuga Capital Management has paid $7 million for the acquisition and planned renovation of a series of Bushwick, Brooklyn multifamily properties in part through crowdfunding, Commercial Observer has learned.

Two days ago, Cayuga Capital closed on the $6 million acquisition of four buildings at 290 and 294 Harman Street from two private individuals. Fundrise raised $1.4 million toward the project cost for Cayuga Capital through investments ranging from $5,000 to $500,000 from 33 people around the country, according to Dan Miller, the co-founder and president of Fundrise. Read More

Lease Beat

Cafés Owner Expands Business With Commissary Space

144-146 East 44th Street.

Blue Radish Group, the parent company of Bread Market Café, Café Beyond, Digby’s Café and City Chow Café, has expanded its business with a new commissary space for its catering and delivery business, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company took 6,800 square feet on the lower level of 144-146 East 44th Street between Third and Lexington Avenues in a 10-year deal, a spokeswoman for the tenant’s broker said. Blue Raddish has assumed occupancy of the space in the 45,000-square-foot, seven-story building. Read More

Lease Beat

Insurance Information Institute Relocates in FiDi

110 William Street.

Insurance Information Institute signed a new 7,900-square-foot lease at 110 William Street, a building owned by Savanna and KBS Strategic Opportunity REIT, Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant, whose mission for 50 years has been to improve the public’s understanding of insurance, signed a 10-year deal in the 32-story building, Savanna announced. The asking rent was in the mid-$40s, according to a spokesman for Savanna. Insurance Information Institute will be relocating to floor 18 from 24 in December. Read More

Lease Beat

Tech Provider, Epiq, Relocates in Midtown Sublease From Avon

777 Third Avenue.

Epiq Systems is relocating employees from its offices at 90 Park Avenue to furnished digs at 777 Third Avenue, as Crain’s New York Business first reported.

The legal industry technology provider is subleasing two full floors, 10 and 11, totaling 50,000 square feet, from Avon cosmetics company. The William Kaufman Organization and The Travelers Companies co-own the 38-story roughly 600,000-square-foot building which is between 48th and 49th Streets. The asking rent wasn’t immediately available. Avon replaced a major advertising firm as the anchor tenant in 2010. Read More

Power Broker

L&L’s Andrew Wiener Is Building With Legos

Andrew Weiner. (Adam Jones)

Andrew Wiener of L&L Holding Company has worked on high-profile Midtown South deals like Lego System’s new flagship at the former International Toy Center and Gawker Media’s 2015 planned relocation to 114 Fifth Avenue.

The director of leasing for the privately held owner, operator and property manager, Mr. Wiener partners with veteran David C. Berkey, and the duo, along with Samantha Fishbone, are tasked with leasing the firm’s 6.5-million-square-foot portfolio of Class A commercial office buildings primarily in Manhattan. Read More

Lease Beat

MUFG Union Bank Takes 200K SF at McGraw-Hill Building

1221 Avenue of the Americas.

MUFG Union Bank has signed a lease for 209,700 square feet on the bottom three floors of the McGraw-Hill Building in one of the year’s largest new leases, The New York Post reported.

The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group subsidiary is consolidating several Manhattan offices at the Rockefeller Group’s building, at 1221 Avenue of the Americas between West 48th and West 49th Streets. MUFG Union Bank also has office space at 1251 Avenue of the Americas. Read More

Lease Beat

Online Menswear Clothing Company Lands in Midtown [Update]

Rendering of 455 Madison Avenue, at left. (Neoscape)

A high-end men’s online clothing and personal styling company is opening its first New York storefront showroom, and the Chicago-based company has chosen East Midtown for the new digs.

Trunk Club, which has showrooms in other cities, has leased 26,190 square feet over six floors, comprising the entire north building of the Villard Houses at 457 Madison Avenue between 50th and 51st Streets. The mansion’s courtyard leads to the entrance to The New York Palace hotel, and the south building is home to a restaurant and hotel amenities.  Read More

Lease Beat

Asset Management Firm Expands, Relocates Within 444 Madison

444 Madison Avenue.

Houston, Texas-based Salient Partners is expanding and relocating its New York office within the same building where it already has space, Commercial Observer has learned.

The asset management firm last week signed a 10-year direct lease for 4,512 square feet of prebuilt space on the 22nd floor of the former Newsweek Building at 444 Madison Avenue, according to a spokesman for Avison Young. Salient Partners, which has over $22 billion under management, has been a subtenant in the 42-story building, which is between East 49th and East 50th Streets, occupying about half the amount of space. The asking rent in the building was $82 per foot. Read More

Sales Beat

Thor Nabs W’burg Properties for Retail Project

Rendering of 130 North 6th Street. (Thor Equities' website)

Joseph Sitt’s Thor Equities has purchased three Williamsburg properties for approximately $17.8 million and is planning to turn the site into a 10,000-square-foot retail development.

Thor paid $14 million for 124 North 6th Street and $3.75 million for 126 and 134 North 6th Street, all between Bedford Avenue and Berry Street, property records recorded last Thursday indicate. The two sales closed on Aug. 25.  Read More

Lease Beat

End Point, Pixel Projects Partner in Park Avenue South Lease

304 Park Avenue South.

End Point Corp. and Pixel Projects have together signed a five-year, 2,755-square-foot lease at 304 Park Avenue South for executive offices, Commercial Observer has learned.

The asking rent in the 12-story SL Green Realty building on the corner of 23rd Street was $65 per square foot, according to a spokeswoman for ABS Partners. End Point, the leading provider of Google’s Liquid Galaxy open source project, and Pixel Projects, which provides AV installations, are slated to move in to their new digs on the second floor tomorrow. The lease was signed on Sept. 30. Read More

Lease Beat

Lend Lease Takes 12K SF in Midtown for Specific Project

3 East 54th Street.

Lend Lease, a provider of construction services, has signed a five-year lease for 12,000 square feet of additional space in Midtown, Commercial Observer has learned.

Come December, the firm will occupy the majority of the third floor at 3 East 54th Street. The 200,000-square-foot building, which is between Madison and Fifth Avenues, was selected for its proximity to one of Lend Lease’s nearby projects, said Marc Horowitz of Cohen Brothers Realty, who represented the building’s ownership in-house. He declined to elaborate.  Read More