Feature Story

Nonprofit Profits: SCO Family of Services Joins Sales Binge

570 Fulton Street

This nonprofit will turn a large real estate profit. When, not if, the SCO Family of Services sells its current foster care and child clinic building at 570 Fulton Street in Downtown Brooklyn, the existing three-story structure will become the site of the area’s latest new tower.

And the nonprofit whose website says it “provides necessary services and unconditional care” to 60,000 children, teens and adults in New York City and Long Island should net a sizeable gain to pay for its operations, joining the ranks of other nonprofits who are cashing in on their real estate despite community concerns over displacement and potential risks involved with disposing of their assets. Read More


Dan Garodnick Prepares to Push Midtown East Into 21st Century

Dan Garodnick

Midtown East, once the gold standard of business districts, has aged. Its towering skyscrapers, having once tested the boundaries of engineering, are struggling to retain top tenants. And its transportation infrastructure is buckling from a population that nearly doubles during the workweek.

In an effort to ensure the area maintains its competitive edge, Mayor Bill de Blasio, like his predecessor, has put forth a planning strategy. A central player in the process to develop a thorough proposal is City Council Member Dan Garodnick, who, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, was tapped in May to head the Midtown East Steering Committee. Read More

Buildings and Construction

Construction Worker Dies at Sam Chang Hotel Site [Updated]

Rendering of 326 West 37th Street.

A construction worker at a future Sam Chang hotel was trapped and killed yesterday by a concrete slab on West 37th Street.

Mr. Chang told Commercial Observer he doesn’t know exactly what happened, but that the construction company on the project, Cavo Construction, was meeting with the city’s Department of Buildings now and he would learn more afterward. Read More

food and drink

Doughnut Plant to Open HQ in LIC [Updated]

Falchi Building

Doughnut Plant, the confectioner of choice for many throughout the five boroughs, will open its new headquarters and expand its baking facility at the Falchi Building in rapidly gentrifying Long Island City.

First reported by Crain’s New York Business, the company has signed a 10-year lease for 8,495 square feet square feet of space. The mixed-use space will include corporate offices and Doughnut Plant’s largest production facility. A small kiosk selling doughnuts will also be featured at the site. Read More

Power Broker

Daniel Libeskind Memorializes, Moves Forward

Daniel Libeskind

World Trade Center master planner Daniel Libeskind’s office library contains nearly a dozen bookcases filled with books about philosophy, religious studies, history, travel, literature, art, architecture, design and other fields and genres. And when Commercial Observer visited Studio Daniel Libeskind three blocks south of the trade center site, he described the necessity in his work of the same four components Herman Melville wishes for in Moby Dick: time, strength, cash and patience.

He had invoked the same line a few days days earlier during a trade center construction update event at 4 World Trade Center timed for the week of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The four necessities have helped rebuild the site where 2,753 New Yorkers lost their lives and fulfill the vision that guided the nation-sized group of stakeholders to the site’s current status, he told a room full of local and international media outlets and several of the interested parties themselves. Read More


EDC To Open New Incubator Space in BK Tech Triangle

One City Built to Last

The city’s Economic Development Corporation will grow its clean energy technology incubator program by investing in a 75,000-square-foot facility near an existing demonstration and education space in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle between Downtown Brooklyn, Dumbo and the Brooklyn Navy Yard, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s new energy savings plan.

The site planned for an as-yet-undetermined location for “step-out space” close to the NYC Urban Future Lab at 15 MetroTech in Downtown Brooklyn would provide flexible leases and wide-open, low-cost spaces to help companies innovate without needing to leave New York City to implement their designs or try out their prototypes, says a section of the 114-page “One City: Built to Last” plan. Read More

Green NYC

DOB Commissioner, Real Estate Leaders Push Greener Buildings

Rick Chandler

A day after the People’s Climate March drew hundreds of thousands of activists and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced plans to cut the city’s emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050, city Department of Buildings Commissioner Rick Chandler promoted the plan at an Urban Green Council conference for architects, engineers, environmental advocates and real estate industry leaders.

During the conference’s keynote, the former Hunter College administrator and DOB borough commissioner spoke specifically to property owners among the conference’s 130 attendees who will see buildings starting at 25,000 square feet subjected to the same retrofitting and auditing requirements as buildings of 50,000 square feet or greater under the Administration’s plan. Read More

Sales Beat

Brooklyn Property Investor Buys Bed-Stuy Building for $2.05M

328 Marcus Garvey Boulevard

A four-story, mixed-use property at 328 Marcus Garvey Boulevard in Bedford-Stuyvesant has been sold for $2.05 million, or $360 per square foot.

Located on the corner of commercial corridor Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Madison Street, the building contains three residential units and two retail units on the ground floor. Altogether, there is roughly 5,600 square feet of usable space. Read More

Lease Beat

Pig Heaven to Reopen on Upper East Side

1420 Third Avenue

Beloved Chinese eatery Nancy Lee’s Pig Heaven will reopen this fall in a 2,000-square-foot retail space at the Brodsky Organization‘s 1420 Third Avenue between East 80th and East 81st Streets, the New York Post reported this morning.

The takeout and sitdown gem that formerly drew celebrity clientele such as former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, director Steven Spielberg and actor Tom Hanks at its now-shuttered location one block east will move into a space with asking rents around $200-per-square foot, the publication reported. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Congress Votes to End Condo Owner Filing Requirement

U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Senate voted unanimously last week to end a federal filing requirement for owners of condo buildings with more than 99 units that ensnared developers in litigation following the financial crisis of 2008.

During the downturn, lawyers for condo buyers began trying to break the purchase contracts by arguing in court cases that the owners hadn’t accurately complied with a 1969 law named the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act that required owners of buildings to register with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and then the Consumer Financial Protection Board. Read More

Donated Space

Jack Resnick & Sons Donates Space at 315 Hudson to Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

315 Hudson Street

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Workspace Artist Residency Program will enjoy roughly 50,000 square feet of donated space at 315 Hudson Street, thanks to a partnership between the non-profit and real estate group Jack Resnick & Sons.

First reported by the New York Post, the 8th floor of the Hudson Square office building, which has been emptied of tenants, will be converted to meet artists’ needs. This includes constructing 32 studios, meeting rooms, common areas, and a dance floor and rehearsal space. Artists are expected to begin working at the site immediately. Read More

Grand Openings

Lego’s Flagship Store to Soft Open This Week [Updated]

Inside the new Lego store at 200 Fifth Avenue, as of  last week.

Lego’s New York City flagship will soft open at 200 Fifth Avenue this Friday at 11 a.m., according to a spokeswoman for LEGO Systems, and the grand opening is scheduled to span Columbus Day weekend.

The toy manufacturer is a couple of months behind schedule as it was supposed to soft-open in mid-July and then officially open over the course of a weekend in August, DNAinfo reported in April.  Read More

Mortgage Observer

Bancorp Bank Provides Bridge Loan on Denholtz Jersey Office Property

Metro Park South.

The Bancorp Bank, a 14-year-old domestic Internet bank, provided floating-rate bridge financing to Denholtz Associates to recapitalize a 132,721-square-foot office property the firm owns in Matawan, N.J., Mortgage Observer has first learned.

HFF worked on behalf of the private development and management firm to secure the three-year $14.5 million loan on Metro Park South, which is located at 100 Matawan Road, off of the Garden State Parkway. Read More

Lease Beat

Event Producer Snaps Up Industry City Space

Industry City. (Sarah Dorio)

Full-service event design, planning and production company David Stark Design and Production has signed a lease for 38,000 square feet at Brooklyn’s Industry City.

The Brooklyn firm will move into the 40-acre Sunset Park complex in early 2015, according to a release from Industry City. Its current digs are in a 5,000-square-foot production space in Carroll Gardens and a 9,000-square-foot storage space in Gowanus, according to Crain’s New York Business, which first reported news of the deal. Read More

Wrecking Ball

NoMad Parish House Soon To Come Down [Updated]

30 East 31st Street.

Eckstein Development Group has filed an application to tear down the Madison Avenue Baptist Church‘s historic 1906 parish house at 30 East 31st Street, according to Department of Buildings records.

The development group is planning to erect a $90 million condominium in partnership with Pinnacle Real Estate, according to Ekstein’s website. The project is slated to break ground in the fourth quarter of this year.  Read More