Lease Beat

Two New Deals Signed at 105 Madison Avenue

105 Madison Avenue.

Structural engineering firm GACE Consulting Engineers has signed the larger of two new leases at 105 Madison Avenue, Commercial Observer has learned.

The tenant has signed a 14.5-year deal for the entire, 13,350-square-foot sixth floor of the building. The firm will relocate from its current headquarters at 31 West 27th Street between late October and mid-November of this year, according to Paul Davidson of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, who represented the landlord, A&R Real Estate. Read More

Mortgage Observer

L&L, Prudential Score $98M to Reposition Chelsea Offices

511 West 25th Street

A joint venture of commercial landlord L&L Holding Co. and insurer Prudential received $98 million from the Aareal Bank Group, a German bank that specializes in real estate, to buy three Manhattan office and showroom buildings, Mortgage Observer has learned.

The J.V. paid $160 million for 511-514 West 25th Street, buildings with class-A office, retail and gallery property, according to records filed with the city. The west Chelsea buildings were on offer by the Related Companies, part of a group of properties that the company has been unloading as it liquidates a distressed property fund, as reported. Read More

Lease Beat

Four New Tenants Sign Midtown South Leases [Updated]

245 Fifth Avenue

The Moinian Group and Thor Equities inked deals for four new tenants totaling 40,397 square feet in their 26-story building at 245 Fifth Avenue just north of Madison Square Park, Commercial Observer has learned.

E-commerce reviewer service TrustPilot and skin care and spa provider Anti-Aging America each signed for 13,627 square feet for the entire fourth and sixth floors of the building, respectively, while ad agency Wednesday NY will move into the 8,916-square-foot 25th floor later this year and the nonprofit research organization the Families & Work Institute will occupy a 4,227-square-foot area on the 10th floor of the building. Read More

On the Market

Chelsea Arts Tower Developer Taps Lee & Associates for New Office Condo

Chelsea Development Group

Luxury commercial condo developer Jack Guttman is working through the design stages of an office condo in a Far West Side lot that’s at 630 West 52nd Street and 700 12th Avenue, the property’s leasing agents, Lee & Associates, announced today.

The eight-floor, 200,000-square-foot structure by the Chelsea Arts Tower owner and Kossar + Garry Architects will feature ground-floor retail, space for television studios on the second and third floor and offices up to a terraced seventh floor, which will be topped off with an event space, said Lee & Associates‘ exclusive broker for the site, Alan Weisman. Read More

In the Office

New CBRE Offices Showcase Latest Layout Trends

CBRE Tokyo

After CBRE started the process of leasing 20 new offices for its staff and outfitting them with employee-friendly features like concierge service, flexible work stations and new artwork, the company began a series of surveys to document its employees’ before-and-after responses to the new digs, the company announced this morning.

Professionals at the 44,000-employee, 350-office real estate firm welcomed the new digs, despite the smaller footprints at many of the locations, and CBRE’s two-year push to implement a new office strategy in its offices, entitled “Workplace360,” sheds light on the changing nature of workspaces worldwide, company officials said. Read More

Mortgage Observer

M&T Refinances 250 Mercer Street Through Freddie Mac Loan

250 Mercer Street

M&T Realty Capital Corp., the commercial mortgage banking subsidiary of M&T Bank, recently closed a $34 million Freddie Mac loan to refinance a 256-unit co-op building at 250 Mercer Street in NoHo, a spokesperson for the bank told Mortgage Observer. The borrower is listed in public records as Mercer Square Owners Corp.

Proceeds from the ten-year loan will go to capital improvements on the 16-story pre-war building and allow the shareholders to lock into a low fixed interest rate, according to the lender. Read More

In default

Recently Opened LIC Hilton Extended-Stay Hotel Defaults

Rendering of the Home2 Suites by Hilton in Long Island City. (Home2 Suites by Hilton)

Mere months since Home2 Suites by Hilton Long Island City/Manhattan View opened in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, the extended-stay hotel has been slapped with a lis pendens, or a notice of default on its mortgage contract.

The 10-story, 115-suite hotel, at 39-06 30th Street, with an alternate address of 29-14 39 Avenue, is the Home2 Suites by Hilton’s 31st hotel and second one in New York State, the company said in a recent press release. Read More

Lease Beat

Jane Street Inks Brookfield Place Lease

250 Vesey Street.

Jane Street Capital has signed a 15-year lease for 114,000 square feet at 250 Vesey Street, sources confirmed with Commercial Observer.

The lease covers a portion of the fourth floor and the entire fifth and sixth floors of the building. The trading firm will relocate to Brookfield Place from One Liberty Plaza, another Brookfield property. Jane Street will pay rent in the mid-$50s per square foot, one source said. Read More

Lease Beat

Samsung Seals Deal at 837 Washington Street [Updated]

837 Washington Street.

Samsung Electronics North America has confirmed it is leasing the entire 55,000-square-foot building at 837 Washington Street, the Wall Street Journal reported, using the space to house its brand marketing team and to showcase business mobile products. The deal was signed early last night, Paul Pariser, co-chief executive officer of Taconic Investment Partners, told Commercial Observer.

As CO first reported, the electronics company was close to finalizing a deal last month in the six-story building developed by Thor Equities and Taconic. The asking rent on the ground floor at the glass building, which is between Little West 12th and 13th Streets, was $500 per square foot, a source previously told CO. The asking rent for the floors above was $120 per foot and the asking rent for the below-grade space was $100 per foot, Mr. Pariser said, noting that they provided “market concessions.” Read More

Manhattan Market Report

CBRE Report: Manhattan Office Market on Pace for Record Year

Manhattan Office Market

After a first half of 2014 with 15.5 million square feet of leasing activity, the Manhattan office market is maintaining a pace that could net the most new leasing since 2000, according to new data released by CBRE today.

The Downtown market in particular boomed with vacant office space blocks of 250,000 square feet or greater falling from 10 at the start of the year to five in the new report, but leases, asking rents and absorption rates increased over figures from last year in Midtown, Midtown South and Downtown. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Midtown East Task Force Leaders Want Union Input, Too

Grand Central Station

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council Member Dan Garodnick clarified earlier reports that unions won’t have representation on the committee of 10 organizations tasked with compiling a framework for the rezoning of Midtown East yesterday.

The two leaders of the pre-Land Use Review Procedure steering group pledged to involve union representatives in the negotiations despite initial reports that unions like 32BJ SEIU, the Building and Construction Trades Council of New York and the Hotel Trades Council won’t have any delegates on the committee of Community Boards, business groups and advocacy organizations. Read More

Lease Beat

Marketing and Fashion Companies Ink Soho, Flatiron District Leases [Updated]

7 West 18th Street

Cast Iron Real Estate brokers Beth Chase and David Barreto signed new tenants into spaces at 580 Broadway in Soho and 7 West 18th Street in the Flatiron District, the company announced today.

Copenhagan-based jewelry and homeware retailer Georg Jensen has moved its U.S. corporate staff into a 3,200-square-foot office and showroom space for five years with asking rents of $58 per square in Soho, and marketing and events planner Pop2Life will soon relocate from 247 Centre Street into a 4,200-square-foot office on the sixth floor in the Flatiron area for five years with asking rents of $50 per square foot, the brokers said. Read More

Downtown

Saks Plans Stores, Office Space Downtown

Brookfield Place.

Saks Fifth Avenue is planning two locations in Lower Manhattan, The Wall Street Journal reported. The expansion would include a department store and Saks Off Fifth outlet, along with a potential 400,000 square-foot office space for the department store’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay Co.

The possible site of the department store is Brookfield Place, while the outlet and office-space headquarters may be located at Brookfield’s One Liberty Plaza building, according to the Journal. Read More