Lauren Elkies Schram


Breaking: EV Buildings Collapse, Several People in Critical Condition

Press conference after an East Village explosion (Photo:  Jillian Jorgensen).

A gas-related explosion is believed to have impacted four East Village buildings and injured 15, three critically.

At 3:17 p.m., private contractors were conducting plumbing and gas work inside 121 Second Avenue between East Seventh Street and St. Mark’s Place which caused an explosion that impacted 119, 121, 123 and 125 Second Avenue. The building at 121 partially collapsed and the one at 123 completely collapsed. Fire fighters are working on battling a fire at 119 Second Avenue, and that building is at risk of collapsing, officials said at a press conference this afternoon. Read More

Lease Beat

Mobile Ad Company Relocating Within Flatiron District in Short-Term Lease

162 Fifth Avenue.

Mobile advertising company Amobee has signed a 3.5-year lease for the 12,250-square-foot 10th floor in the Flatiron District, Commercial Observer has learned.

Amobee, which provides services for large advertisers, publishers and operators, took the short-term lease at 162 Fifth Avenue “to have flexibility, as they were unsure about the amount of growth they will have in the upcoming years,” according to a spokeswoman for ABS Partners Real Estate. Amobee will be relocating from nearby 155 Fifth Avenue between East 21st and East 22nd Streets. Read More

Lease Beat

Men’s Dress Shirtmaker Signs Brookfield Place Lease As Complex Officially Opens

$79 men's shirts from Kamakura Shirts (Kamakura Shirts' website).

Kamakura Shirts signed a lease at Brookfield Place yesterday, the day before the Lower Manhattan complex officially opened.

The Japanese men’s dress shirt company’s 699-square-foot space is across the hall from Equinox (opened last month) and sandwiched between a women’s fashion brand that hasn’t been announced and Time Inc.‘s lobby, Edward Hogan, the national director of retail leasing for Brookfield Office Properties, told Commercial Observer during a tour of the partially complete complex yesterday. The lease is for 10 years, he said, noting that asking rents are currently $400 to $500 per square foot. Kamakura Shirts will open in about three months. Mr. Hogan negotiated the deal for Brookfield, along with Stephen Plourde of The McDevitt Company. Craig Slosberg of JLL represented the tenant.  Read More

Lease Beat

Private Equity Advisory Takes Final Madoff Floor in Lipstick Building

The Lipstick Building at 885 Third Avenue.

StepStone Group, a global private markets firm, has leased the entire 17th floor at the Lipstick Building, one of the floors leased to Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, and the site of where company head Bernard Madoff operated his $65 billion Ponzi scheme, Commercial Observer has learned.

StepStone signed a 10-year lease for the 19,270-square-foot renovated space in the 34-story IRSA- and Marciano Investment Group-owned office tower at 885 Third Avenue between East 53rd and East 54th Streets, according to a release from the owners and the building’s co-asset management firm Herald Square Properties. The asking rent was $85 per square foot. The deal brings the building to 97 percent occupied. Only the 13,200-square-foot 28th floor is available for lease. Read More

The Sit-Down

Ziel Feldman and His Construction Binge Starts With a Pair of High Line Projects

FROM A TO ZEIL: Mr. Feldman at his artfully decorated office (Photo: Aaron Adler for Commercial  Observer).

After four years of living on Park Avenue in the East 80s, Ziel Feldman will this year be moving to Marquand at 11 East 68th Street, a Beaux-Arts Revival rental-to-condominium conversion his firm is completing on Madison Avenue.

The chairman and founder of HFZ Capital Group (the H is for his wife Helene, F is for Feldman and Z is for Ziel) has worked on more than 30 conversion projects like The Chatsworth at 344 West 72nd Street, Astor at 235 West 75th Street, 11 Beach Street in Tribeca and One Madison Park. Read More

Lease Beat

Sister PR Firms Moving to Combined 10K SF in Midtown South

276 Fifth Avenue.

The Manhattan-based subsidiaries of Mineola, N.Y.-based Didit, an integrated marketing communications firm, will be moving to a shared 10,000 square feet in Midtown South, Commercial Observer has learned.

Didit signed a single 10,000-square-foot lease for its public relations companies LVM Group and Bridge Global Strategies, at 276 Fifth AvenueEVO Real Estate Group announced. The firms will share the space on the second floor of the 11-story, 200,000-square-foot commercial building at West 30th Street owned by 276 Managers LLC, a group that includes The Kash Group. Read More

Tax Breaks

Food Saver NY Seeks Tax Breaks to Acquire Brooklyn Home

402 East 83rd Street.

Food Saver New York, which processes and distributes food products, is looking to buy its home in the East Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, according to city documents.

The industrial building at 402 East 83rd Street, owned by IJ Litwack Realty, is 25,800 square feet and sits on 21,800 square feet of land, according to the notice of public hearing from the New York City Industrial Development Agency. The purchase is expected to cost $5.4 million and Food Saver New York is seeking payments in lieu of city real property taxes and deferral of city and state mortgage recording taxes. NYCIDA will address the application at a public hearing on April 9. Read More

Lease Beat

Byredo Opening First U.S. Boutique in Soho

476 Broome Street (Image: Winick Realty Group marketing materials)

Stockholm-based Byredo, which Racked called a “cult fragrance brand,” is bringing its signature scents and new body care products and leather accessories lines to the United States by way of Soho.

Byredo, which is sold at Barneys, signed a 1,300-square-foot ground-floor lease (plus 250 square feet for storage in the basement), at South Florida billionaire Jeff Greene‘s condominium conversion project at 62 Wooster Street between Spring and Broome Streets, sources told Commercial Observer. The asking rent in the 10-year deal was $300 per foot, one of the sources said. Read More

Lease Beat

Bath & Body Works Inks 50K-SF Soho Office Renewal

503 Broadway (Photo: CoStar).

Limited Brands has renewed a roughly 50,000-square-foot lease for its Bath & Body Works personal care products brand in Soho, Commercial Observer has learned.

The 10-year renewal at 503 Broadway spans the entire fourth and fifth floors, said Eric Cagner of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who along with colleague David Falk represented the landlord, Hang Seng Realty, in the deal. CBRE‘s Eric Deutsch negotiated on behalf of the Limited. The asking rent in the building was around $80 per square foot, Mr. Cagner said. Read More

Lease Beat

Rockrose Moves Into Its Madison Square Park Building

The lobby at 15 East 26th Street .

Rockrose Development Corp. has moved its offices to a commercial condominium the developer owns along Madison Square Park, Rockrose President Justin Elghanayan told Commercial Observer. Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel, Architects designed the new space.

“The office has exposed ceilings, looks directly onto Madison Square Park and onto the Flatiron Building,” Mr. Elghanayan said. “It’s an airy, open design that’s consistent with our corporate culture and history of developing loft buildings. We have a large kitchen/dining area that adjoins our conference space on the park.” Read More

Sales Beat

ABJ Properties Buys Harlem Package for $7.5M

273 West 150th Street.

ABJ Properties, run by brothers Ben and Joe Soleimani, has purchased three Harlem properties for $7.5 million, the buyer told Commercial Observer.

ABJ bought the properties at 28 West 132nd Street, 3 West 137th Street and 273 West 150th Street on March 12 from Action Housing. They include 45 residential rent-stabilized units and two retail stores (a pharmacy and a beauty salon) on West 137th Street across from Harlem Hospital. All told the properties contain 40,000 square feet, Ben said. Read More

Lease Beat

Changes Afoot for Change.org as It Relocates From FiDi

118 West 22nd Street.

Change.org is moving from its offices in Lower Manhattan to Midtown South, Commercial Observer has learned.

The start-up, which mobilizes support for social causes through online petitions, has taken 7,500 square feet on the entire top floor at Adlie Associates‘ 12-story 118 West 22nd Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue, more than doubling the space at its current digs at 64 Fulton Street. Read More

Lease Beat

Starbucks Opening Empire State Building Location for Deliveries

Empire State Building.

Starbucks Coffee addicts will now be able to have their beverages delivered to their front door through a new delivery service set to launch in New York City at the Empire State Building, the coffee giant announced at yesterday’s annual shareholders meeting.

On Monday, Starbucks signed a lease for 1,173 square feet on the West 33rd Street side of the Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue, the second lease Starbucks has in the building, a spokeswoman for Empire State Realty Trust, which owns the building, told Commercial Observer. The new lease is for 10 years and the asking rent was $200 per square foot.  Read More