Lease Beat

Mudrick Capital Moves on Madison Avenue

527 Madison Avenue.

Mudrick Capital, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm, has signed an 11-year lease for 12,400 square feet on the sixth floor of Mitsui Fudosan America’s 527 Madison Avenue between East 53rd and East 54th Streets, Commercial Observer has learned.

Built in 1986, the Class A commercial property at 527 Madison Avenue is 26 stories and is comprised of 236,000 square feet. Mitsui Fudosan America acquired the building in 2008 from Deutsche Bank for $225 million, according to CoStar. Read More

Lease Beat

Swatch Signs Lease for Balance of 1515 Broadway Retail Space

1515 Broadway.

Swatch last Friday signed a 15-year lease for 2,113 square feet in SL Green Realty Corp. and SITQ’s 1515 Broadway with an asking rent of $2,400 per square foot, said Jeffrey Roseman at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who acted on behalf of the owners in the deal. Marc Leber of NGKF also worked on the transaction.

The multinational watch and jewelry company joins footwear company Skechers USA in the ground-floor space. In December, Skechers signed a 10-year lease with a five-year option for approximately 3,700 square feet, according to a press release from SL Green and Mr. Roseman. Read More

Lease Beat

Coworking Space Signs New Lease in Flatiron District

119-125 West 24th Street

AlleyNYC, which has tagged itself as “the most badass coworking space on the planet,” has secured 36,000 square feet at 119-125 West 24th Street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company, which is riding the wave of co-working spaces infiltrating New York City, signed a 10-year lease for the third, fourth and fifth floors at the 12-story, 146,000-square-foot building, the Journal reported. The Kaufman Organization acquired the property from Extell Development Company through a 99-lease deal in April 2014. Asking rents at the property are in the mid-$60s per square foot. The building had been in disrepair for many years, and the Kaufman Organization invested tens of millions of dollars to revamp the entire building. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Helaba Finances 1035 Third Avenue Condo Buy

1035 Third Avenue.

The German bank Helaba provided a $42 million loan to Acadia Realty Trust for the purchase of retail, office and parking condominium space on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Mortgage Observer has learned.

Acadia, based in White Plains, N.Y., acquired the mixed-use property at 1035 Third Avenue for $51 million through its Strategic Opportunity Fund IV platform, according to the REIT’s latest earnings report. The seller is listed as O’Connor Capital Partners led by the former Cushman & Wakefield CEO Glenn Rufrano. Read More

Lease Beat

The Pegasus Group to Move to 115 Broadway

115 Broadway.

The Pegasus Group, a company that owns and develops multi-tenant properties, primarily in neglected or underdeveloped urban areas, has finalized a 10-year lease for 2,767 square feet at 115 Broadway between Cedar and Thames Streets, according to The New York Times.

Pegasus will use the 17th floor space at 115 Broadway, previously occupied by W&W Steel Erectors, as executive offices. The firm plans to take occupancy in March. Read More

Lease Beat

AKOO Clothing Signs 12-Year Lease at 231 West 39th Street

231 West 39th Street.

AKOO Clothing signed a 12-year lease at 231 West 39th Street for 9,355 square feet previously occupied by Genevieve Anderson, according to The New York Post which first reported the story.

AKOO (which stands for A King of Oneself) is a menswear brand founded by Grammy-winning artist T.I. The firm will be joined by its owner RP55 Group, a manufacturing and distribution company, in the space. Read More

Market Report

Tech Sector Gains Ground on Financial Services in NYC Real Estate: Report

111 Eighth Avenue.

In 2014, the tech sector and new media companies leased more than five million square feet of office space and was responsible for 16.2 percent of leasing activity in Manhattan, a 4.9 percent increase since 2013, according to a new report on the industry released by JLL. The report highlighted that the tech sector was second only to the financial services industry in terms of leasing activity; however, while the financial services industry was responsible for 24.7 percent of all activity in 2014, it represented a 3.2 percent decrease from the year before.

“Each year, the gap in activity between tech and financial services has steadily narrowed,” the report highlighted. Read More

Sales Beat

Savanna Sells 576 Fifth Avenue to Real Estate Equities

576 Fifth Avenue.

Real estate private equity and asset management firm Savanna has sold its leasehold on its 72,000-square-foot office building at 576 Fifth Avenue to Michael Miller, Brandon Miller and Mark Seigel of Real Estate Equities Corp, Commercial Observer has learned.

The property, which was sold for an undisclosed amount, sits on the corner of Fifth Avenue and East 47th Street in Midtown’s Diamond District. Today, there is a jewelry exchange on the ground floor and office space on the upper floors of the 11-story building, constructed in 1907. Read More

Architecture & Design

High Line Architect Designs Oasis on West 23rd Street

Rendering of rooftop at 50 West 23rd Street (credit: H5 Property).

Landscape architect James Corner of James Corner Field Operations, whose design turned an abandoned elevated train track on the Far West Side into a popular public park, is now hoping to provide a similar transformation—this time 11 stories above ground.

Two Trees Management Company hired the High Line‘s lead designer to create a new 10,600-square-foot rooftop garden and outdoor work space on the 11th floor of the 14-story building at 50 West 23rd Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas. It will be a place for meetings, parties, presentations and eating lunch, said Jed Walentas, a principal at Two Trees, when it opens in the third quarter of the year. Read More

Lease Beat

Charles Schwab Moving to 1133 Avenue of the Americas

1133 Avenue of the Americas

Charles Schwab & Co. will move to the 22,915 square foot 37th floor of 1133 Avenue of the Americas, following a build-out expected to be complete by the third quarter of 2015, as was first reported by

The financial services company, who has been subletting at another Durst Organization property—114 West 47th Street—signed an 11-year lease in January. The asking rent was in the mid-$80s per square foot. Read More

Buildings and Construction

DOB Overwhelmed by Construction Demand

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

The Department of Buildings‘ review of new building plans has slowed to a crawl because the city agency is getting buried under an avalanche of permit applications.

According to the most recent agency performance report from the Mayor’s Office of Operations, when it comes to new buildings it is taking the city’s DOB nearly twice as long to complete the first plan review, which is the period from the complete submission of the application to the date the plan examiner is able to issue a decision upon the submitted plans. That process has risen to an average of 15.7 days in the fiscal year to date compared with 8.5 in the previous FYTD, the data indicate. Read More

On the Market

City Seeks Developer for Seven-Acre Parcel Near JFK Airport

The seven-acre site referred to as JFK North (NYCEDC's RFEI).

The city is looking for a developer to purchase a fee interest or a long-term lease and then redevelop a seven-acre parcel along the south side of Rockaway Boulevard near John F. Kennedy International Airport.

“This is an ideal location for businesses that benefit from the proximity to JFK International Airport,” according to the New York City Economic Development Corp.‘s recent request for expressions of interest, or RFEI. Read More

The Lobby

Savills Studley Promotes Two to Executive Managing Director

Will Silverman (left) and Jeffrey Peck of Savills Studley.

Commercial real estate firm Savills Studley has promoted Jeffrey Peck and Will Silverman, previously senior managing directors, to executive managing directors, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Peck joined Savills Studley in 2000 and has worked with tenants including National Public Radio, Burberry, the City University of New York, Valentino and Tourneau to assist them in securing office space. Throughout his career, he has overseen approximately 5 million square feet in transactions. He graduated from Boston University in 1985. Read More

Lease Beat

Bloomberg LP Inks Deal for 150K SF in Midtown

919 Third Avenue.

Bloomberg LP has signed a lease for 150,000 square feet at 919 Third Avenue between East 55th and East 56th Streets, close to its Lexington Avenue headquarters.

The company, founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 1981, is paying rents in the mid-$50s per square foot, according to Crain’s New York Business, which reported the deal. Bloomberg LP declined to comment.  Read More