Lauren Elkies Schram

2014 year in review

The 10 Biggest Leases of 2014

Time Warner's leaseback at the Time Warner Center was the year's biggest deal.

Whether it’s in your finances, love life, or weight, the New Year is a time to look back and take stock. So why not with the city’s commercial leases, too?

This year’s top 10 office leases together comprise roughly 6 million square feet of space—less than last year’s by 1.2 million square feet, according to Commercial Observer’s own research as well as data provided by Cassidy Turley and JLL. But last year’s deals were skewed by Citigroup’s decision to remain at its 2.7-million-square-foot offices at SL Green’s 388-390 Greenwich Street. Read More

Lease Beat

Engineering Company Relocating to West 39th Street

15 West 39th Street.

Alliance Mechanical Group is relocating to 15 West 39th Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas from nearby 1407 Broadway between 38th and 39th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned.

The mechanical engineering company, which handles heating, ventilation, air conditioning and mechanical contracting, took 4,700 square feet, or the entire 10th floor, in the building, according to Philip Silverstein of Silverstein Solutions, the leasing agent for the building who also represented the tenant in the deal. The lease is for five years and the asking rent was $42 per square foot, Mr. Silverstein said. Read More

On the Market

Actually, There Are Three TGI Fridays on the Market

Rendering of 761 Seventh Avenue. (Winick listing)

Commercial Observer reported a week ago that there are two TGI Fridays spaces available for lease, but we have since learned that there are actually three on the market.

Fridays at 761 Seventh Avenue at the corner of West 50th Street has been listed for lease with Winick Realty Group. The building has 6,500 square feet on the ground floor, 6,300 square feet on the second floor and 9,650 square feet on the lower level, according to the online listing. A team led by Jeff Winick started marketing the property this month. The asking rent is $800 per square foot on the ground, $150 per foot on the second floor and $100 on the lower level, said Mark Stempel, the vice president of real estate at the Riese Organization, which owns the license for Fridays in Manhattan. Read More

Lease Beat

SCG Retail Doubles Office Size With Move to West 57th Street

250 West 57th Street.

SCG Retail, the urban street division of Atlanta-based Shopping Center Group, is doubling its office space with a move to 250 West 57th Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm signed a deal for 6,000 square feet last month and plans to move to the Empire State Realty Trust-owned digs between Broadway and Eighth Avenue on Jan. 1, 2015, a spokesman for SCG Retail said. SCG Retail currently operates out of 3,000 square feet at 1841 Broadway between West 60th and West 61st Streets. Read More

Sales Beat

Packer Private School Nabbing Nearby Building for $16M

100 Clinton Street in Brooklyn. (Packer)

Packer Collegiate Institute, an independent, college preparatory school for preschoolers through 12th graders, is in contract to buy 100 Clinton Street at Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights for $16 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

In an October announcement issued by Packer, the school said the purchase would be its first real estate acquisition since 1967 and would allow for a 12,000-square-foot facility for preschool and kindergarten students. The contract price is $16 million, according to an application submitted to Build NYC, the part of Economic Development Corporation that assists qualified not-for-profit institutions and other entities in obtaining tax-exempt and taxable bond financing. Read More

Lease Beat

Omega, Lululemon Sign Deals at Brookfield Place

The future home of Omega at Brookfield Place. (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Omega and Lululemon Athletica have signed leases at Brookfield Place, Commercial Observer has learned.

The watch manufacturer signed a lease last month for 3,000 square feet in the winter garden below and to the side of Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place and the yoga apparel company has signed a deal for 2,993 square feet in the courtyard, next to where Jose Garces‘ Spanish tapas restaurant, Amada, will open, sources with intimate knowledge of the deals said. Omega has even listed an online job posting for a sales associate at the future store.  Read More

Lease Beat

Branding Company Taking Space at 10 Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards. (Jennifer Henderson)

VaynerMedia, a brand consulting agency with a focus on social media, is taking 90,000 square feet at Related Companies and Oxford Properties Group‘s 10 Hudson Yards on the Far West Side, Bloomberg News reported.

This is the developers’ first office lease deal at what will be a 52-story, 1.7-million-square-foot commercial and retail building since the beginning of 2013, the publication noted. Read More

Lease Beat

FiDi Scores Sky-High Rent for Teeny Space

65 Nassau Street.

Today’s Mobile has signed a deal for around 170 square feet of space in the Financial District and is paying a whopping $522.35 per square foot, Commercial Observer has learned. That is nearly double the amount of the average asking rent for ground-floor available space in select major FiDi retail corridors, according to the Real Estate Board of New York‘s fall 2014 retail report.

The mobile center signed a 10-year lease for part of a ground-floor retail condo at 65 Nassau Street near John Street, according to Jesse Sutton of Sutton Equity, who brokered the deal on behalf of the landlord, 65 Nassau Partners LLC, which includes Sutton Equity. The previous tenant was Tie Gallery, who was paying less than $3,000 per month versus Today’s Mobile $7,400 a month. Read More

Lease Beat

Guessing Game is Over: Apple Takes Bite Out of Bedford

247 Bedford Avenue.

After much speculation, Apple has settled on a location for its first Brooklyn store, and as anticipated, it will be at 247 Bedford Avenue at North 3rd Street, the New York Post reported.

Lee NYC‘s Peter Braus led the team that represented the landlords, Red Sky Capital and Waterbridge, in the 20,000-square-foot deal at the two-story brick building. Apple was represented by Chris DeCrosta of Crown Retail Services and Open Realty. Mr. Braus declined to comment and Mr. DeCrosta didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Read More

The Lobby

Alex Hill Departs Eastern Consolidated After a Year

Alexander Hill. (The Real Deal)

After roughly a year as a senior director at Eastern Consolidated, retail broker Alexander Hill has become a managing partner at Murro Realty, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Hill was part of a team including James Famularo, Jeff Geoghegan and Ravi Idnani that was recruited to head up Eastern’s new retail leasing division in January. Mr. Hill had been at Winick Realty Group prior to starting at Eastern. Read More

Lease Beat

Lowe’s Signs Deal for Chelsea Flagship

635-641 Avenue of the Americas

Lowe’s Home Improvement has signed a 15-year lease for a Chelsea flagship store comprised of 36,000 square feet on multi-levels at 635-641 Avenue of the Americas, SL Green Realty Corp. announced this week.

Commercial Observer reported in June that the home improvement and hardware chain was searching for locations around New York City, including at 635-641 Avenue of the Americas between West 19th and West 20th Streets, for an urban concept.  Read More

Power Broker

The McSam Hotel Group Founder is McLovin the Garment District

Sam Chang. (Aaron Adler)

It is obvious how much real estate professionals love limited-service hotel developer Sam Chang, the prolific developer who is behind numerous Hilton Gardens, Comfort Inns and Holiday Inn Expresses.

A number of people who have worked with the president and chief executive officer of Great Neck-based McSam Hotel Group said the same things: He’s decisive, he doesn’t get mired in minutia, he’s a handshake guy and he has the uncanny ability to retain details on more than a dozen deals in his head at the same time. Read More


NoMad is No Longer Virgin Territory for Trendy Hotels

The NoMad Hotel at 1170 Broadway.

It may have once been considered a tweener and a mecca for discount clothes and goods, but now North of Madison Square Park, a k a NoMad, is a neighborhood in its own right, and is awash with high-end residential condominiums and some of the city’s hippest hotels.

Hotels first started budding in the area—which extends loosely from 23rd Street to 34th Streets between Lexington Avenue and Broadway—when the pioneering Ace Hotel New York at 20 West 29th Street opened in 2009, followed by Gansevoort Park Avenue at 420 Park Avenue South at 29th Street, Flatiron Hotel at 9 West 26th Street near Broadway and the NoMad Hotel at 1170 Broadway at 28th Street. Read More


Day 2 of ICSC, Via @CommObserver

Lisa Rosenthal, left, and Robin Abrams, both of Lansco at ICSC NYC today. (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Even though the rain did not go away, real estate professionals traipsed over to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center for the second, and final, day of the International Council of Shopping Centers‘ New York City National Deal Making Conference. There wasn’t the same frenetic pace as there was yesterday, but Commercial Observer captured some gems from attendees via its Twitter feed. Check out some of our favorite tweets from today’s #NYConf. Read More


Lansco Unveils Potential for 13K-SF UWS Retail Space

Rendering of the retail space at 2001-2017 Broadway. (Callison)

At International Council of Shopping Centers‘ New York City National Deal Making Conference, a Lansco team showcased a new potential design for more than 13,000 square feet of retail at the base of the residential Dorchester Towers on the Upper West Side.

“There’s nowhere on Broadway where you have this much space available to create a synergistic tenant mix with a focus on contemporary fashion and we think the neighborhood can support and is crying out for those kinds of retailers on the Upper West Side,” Lansco’s Robin Abrams said at her booth today. She and colleagues Lisa Rosenthal and Alan Victor are marketing the space for Ogden CAP Properties. Read More