Under Development

South Street Seaport Designated an Endangered Historic Place

South Street Seaport (Photo: Emily Assiran/Commercial Observer).

With development on the horizon, the South Street Seaport was named to the 2015 list of the 11 most endangered historic places in the country last night by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

“While the seaport is a locally designated historic district, and is separately listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is currently under threat due to a series of development proposals that would disrupt the look, feel and low-scale historic character of the seaport,” the privately funded non-profit organization says on its website. Read More


ATCO Starts Nationwide Mezzanine Loan Platform

New York-based ATCO Properties & Management is starting a new investment program to give loans for commercial properties in central business districts in certain areas of the country, Commercial Observer has learned.

Those markets include Austin, Nashville, the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, Salt Lake City and assets around commuter-rail stations in the New York City area. The ATCO City Center Real Estate Loan Program will delve out first mortgage loans, preferred equity for office and retail assets and mezzanine debt. Read More

Lease Beat

Ad Tech Company Takes 12,083 SF at 44 West 28th Street

44 West 28th Street.

Yellowhammer Media Group, an advertising technology company, is moving to new digs in NoMad to accommodate the firm’s growth, brokers in the deal told Commercial Observer.

The firm took 12,083 square feet, or the entire fourth floor, at 44 West 28th Street between Broadway and Avenue of the Americas in a 10-year deal, according to a spokeswoman for Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. NGKF’s Bernard Weitzman and Jordan Brustein represented Yellowhammer in the deal. The asking rent was $54 per square foot. Read More

Power Player

The Lawyers at the Forefront of Stroock & Stroock’s Real Estate Explosion

Marc Hurel and Ross  F. Moskowitz (Photo: Celeste Sloman/Commercial Observer).

Ross F. Moskowitz, a partner at national law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan who focuses on real estate development, gives out a copy of his favorite book, The Power Broker by Robert Caro, to each new associate when he or she starts.
“[I] think it captures the essence of New York real estate—planning, politics, location and finance,” said Mr. Moskowitz, who has been at Stroock since 1987 (minus a quick stint at the EDC in the 1990s).

Mr. Moskowitz should consider ordering more copies of Mr. Caro’s classic, because Stroock is in the middle of a growth spurt. Last month, the firm, which has offices in New York, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami, announced that eight attorneys from competitor DLA Piper would join the firm’s national Real Estate Practice Group (all told, Stroock has had 23 attorneys join the company in the past six months). Read More


Phase Two of the DTZ Acquisition of C&W

CO_Voltron_01_LAYOUT_Randy Pollak

When news broke just over a month ago that Cushman & Wakefield—the world’s largest privately held real estate services company—was selling to Chicago-based rival DTZ for about $2 billion, you would have expected waves throughout the industry. But actually, insiders tell Commercial Observer, the combined firms’ new setup—with CBRE alum Brett White helming the Read More

Lease Beat

Fairway Inks Deal for Second Brooklyn Market

fairway logo

Bring a Wegmans to Brooklyn, and Fairway raises with a second location.

The grocery store has inked a 20-year deal to open an outpost at the Georgetown Shopping Center in the Bergen Beach section of the borough, property records show. Fairway is taking 40,000 square feet currently used by a Waldbaums at 2149 Ralph Avenue, according to The Real Deal, which first reported news of the lease. Read More

On the Market

Infinity Adding 60K Square Feet on Top of Kingswood Center

A rendering of 1630 East 15th Street with the additional two floors.

Nearly a year after buying two mixed-use Midwood, Brooklyn, properties for $79.1 million, the owners are hoping to tack on 60,000 square feet at one of the plazas for one or more tenants to occupy, Commercial Observer has learned.

A partnership led by Infinity Real Estate wants to add floors four and five to the 160,000-square-foot building that is 100 percent occupied with tenants including TJ Maxx and NY Sports Club on the ground floor and medical tenants like Visiting Nurse Service of New York and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai on the second and third floors. Hundreds of parking spaces are below grade. Read More

Sales Beat

Prospects-Lefferts Building Sells for $14.2M

2217 Caton Avenue.

Vancouver-based Second City Real Estate has sold a mixed-use building in Brooklyn for $14.2 million, according to brokers in the sale.

Second City sold 2217 Caton Avenue in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens to Caton Acquisition Partners, according to HFF, which represented both sides in the sale. Caton Acquisition Partners is a New Jersey-based LLC affiliated with Portman Property Group, records filed with the Department of State show. Read More

Lease Beat

Video Ad Software Company Heads to 114 Fifth Avenue

114 Fifth Avenue.

TubeMogul, a publicy traded enterprise software platform for digital branding, is relocating to 114 Fifth Avenue at the southwest corner of West 17th Street from the Union Building to accommodate the company’s anticipated growth, brokers in the deal told Commercial Observer.

Emeryville, Calif. based Tubemogul has subleased the entire ninth floor, totaling 19,326 square feet, at the L&L Holding Company building from online news venture First Look Media, which holds a 10-year lease for the floor (First Look Media has additional space in the building) expiring June 2024. CO first reported news of First Look Media’s lease in the building in March 2014.  Read More

Construction Finance

Citizens Bank Originates $50M Construction Loan for Chicago Housing Development

Vue53 Rendering.

Citizens Bank provided a $50 million construction loan to an affiliate of Blue Vista Capital Management for a mixed-use apartment development serving Chicago’s Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods, Commercial Observer has first learned.

The rental property is being built in partnership with the University of Chicago, according to the borrower and lender. Avison Young and Atlanta-based Peak Campus Development are also partners in the $75 million project. Read More

Lease Beat

Morton Williams Wine & Spirits Opening Park Ave. South Store

270 Park Avenue South.

Morton Williams Wine & Spirits is opening its second Manhattan store, Commercial Observer has learned. The new 4,325-square-foot location will be at 270 Park Avenue South between East 21st and East 22nd Streets, in a space previously occupied by Emma’s Dilemma deli.

The upscale fine wine and spirits retailer is an offshoot of the Morton Williams Supermarkets chain found in Manhattan (there is one supermarket at 278 Park Avenue South), the Bronx and New Jersey. Morton Williams Wine & Spirits has one Manhattan location at 311 East 23rd Street between First and Second Avenues. Read More