Lease Beat

Digital Marketing Firm Signs Flatiron District Lease

22 West 19th Street.

Digital marketing and media firm Taykey, Inc. signed a five-year, 7,125-square-foot lease to move into the seventh floor of the Kaufman Organization‘s Cluett Building at 22 West 19th Street in the Flatiron District this fall, Commercial Observer has learned.

Kaufman has now filled the 1901 structure with asking rents in the $50s per square foot following a renovation and the installation of additional elevators from the redone lobby, said Steve Kaufman, president of the company. Read More

The Lobby

Brandl Frey Leaves Durst for RFR

Brandl Frey by Steve Friedman.

Brandl Frey, who was most recently a leasing manager at the Durst Organization, started at RFR Realty yesterday, Commercial Observer has learned.

She is serving as the executive vice president of strategic initiatives and marketing, and will be working on marketing initiatives, branding and leasing at RFR properties including 375 Park Avenue and Lever House at 390 Park Avenue. Her office is in the latter. Read More


Real Estate Pros Give at Harlem Week Celebration

Faith Hope Consolo and Neah Banks

Douglas Elliman retail broker Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Tahl, president of Tahl Propp Equities, participated in the Harlem Chamber of Commerce‘s annual economic development day business awards luncheon by contributing undergraduate scholarships to aspiring Harlem students earlier this month.

Ms. Consolo, Mr. Tahl, U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel, Former Mayor David N. Dinkins, State Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright and Lloyd Williams, chairman of the Chamber, presented the awards from Ms. Consolo and other donors to a group of a half-dozen students in a ceremony at Columbia University during the month-long “Harlem Week” celebration that’s currently still underway. Read More

Sales Beat

Klosed Properties Closes First Soho Acquisition

202 Spring Street.

Klosed Properties has made its first Soho property purchase, picking up a retail condominium unit at 202 Spring Street for $7 million, Commercial Observer has learned. Klosed bought the property in partnership with Namdar Realty Group, said Steven Kachanian, the principal at Klosed. The deal took about two and a half years to complete, Mr. Kachanian said.

David Goldoff of Camelot Realty Group, who was the lone broker in the deal, said the property was on and off the market for three or four years.  Read More

Sales Beat

Certes, United Management Nab UWS S.R.O. for $15M

206 West 95th Street.

Certes Partners and United Management Corp. have purchased the infamous single-room-occupancy hotel Camden Hotel on the Upper West Side for $15 million. The seller of the building, once ranked the 24th Precinct’s second most dangerous building, was Steve Tzolis, owner of Il Cantinori and Periyali restaurants.

Sunder Jambunathan, a principal at Certes, said while the S.R.O. is in place at 206 West 95th Street, its status as such is being wound down. Certes and United Management’s plans for the site are in flux. Read More


Housing Advocates Plan Harlem March on Wednesday

Real Affordability for All

The coalition of more than 50 housing advocacy groups known as the “Real Affordability for All Coalition” will demonstrate at Harlem’s First Corinthian Baptist Church with speeches and a march on Wednesday afternoon, the groups announced last week.

The collection of religious organizations, neighborhood nonprofits and citywide anti-poverty groups plan to press Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to require at least 50 percent affordable units in all new residential developments at the event at 1912 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard near 116th Street. Read More

Lease Beat

Harry Winston Consolidates, Relocates Offices

717 Fifth Avenue.

Harry Winston is relocating its offices from two Manhattan locations to a 23,000-square-foot space across from the luxury jewelry brand’s flagship retail store at 718 Fifth Avenue.

Harry Winston signed a 15-year lease at 717 Fifth Avenue on the southeast corner of 56th Street, according to a news release from CBRE. CBRE’s Zachary Freeman, Brian Hay and Ryan Alexander negotiated the deal on behalf of the landlord, Equity Office Properties, along with Bill Edwards and Jessica Kanfer from Equity Office Properties. Read More

Lease Beat

Newspaper Delivery Service Relocates LIC HQ

47-11 and 47-51 Austell Place.

Mitchell’s NY, a family-owned publication delivery business, is relocating its Long Island City headquarters and distribution center within the neighborhood to Time Equities47-11 and 47-51 Austell Place between Skillman Avenue and 27th Street.

Faith Hope Consolo and Joseph Aquino of Douglas Elliman‘s retail group negotiated the 40,000-square-foot deal on behalf of Mitchell’s NY in a direct deal with Time Equities‘ senior acquisitions and asset manager, Brad Gordon. Read More


Real Estate Legend Arthur G. Cohen Passes at 84

Olympic Tower

Legendary real estate developer Arthur G. Cohen, a magnate who formed the Arlen Realty and Development Corporation, passed away on Aug. 9 at his family’s home in Kings Point, N.Y., The New York Times reported on Friday.

Mr. Cohen bought and renovated 15,000 apartment units in the city, formed part of the team behind the mixed-use One Worldwide Plaza on the former site of Madison Square Garden, and combined with Aristotle Onassis on the 51-story Olympic Tower adjacent to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Interest-Only Is Back!

Interest-only loans from non CMBS lenders have returned

Meridian Capital Group arranged $47.5 million in financing for a nine-property multifamily portfolio located in Manhattan, Yonkers and Mount Vernon—and all nine loans had lengthy interest-only periods.

Manhattan-based residential owner, broker and manager Coutinho Properties received funds from three different lenders for acquisitions and refinancings in and around New York City. Meridian Capital Group Vice President Isaac Filler handled the negotiations. Read More

Art in Real Estate

Slideshow: Pop Artists’ Assault on the 21st Precinct

33 Photos

327 East 22nd Street. (Lauren Elkies Schram)

For more than two months, 55 pop artists have been painting the interior of the four-story building that used to house the 21st Precinct. This morning, Sam Suzuki, the chief executive officer of Suzuki Capital, and Colby Swartz, a company director, gave Commercial Observer a private tour of the artwork created on almost every wall in the building, at 327 East 22nd Street between First and Second Avenues. Some of the featured artists are Pesu Art, Giz, Ghost, Savior and Jay Carlos. The opening reception for the art exhibit is going on now and the exhibit will be open to the public tomorrow and next Saturday and Sunday before Suzuki Capital demolishes it to make way for a condominium. (All photos are by Lauren Elkies Schram.) Read More

Sales Beat

HK, Brickman Pick Up Chocolate Factory Lofts for $68M [Updated]

275 Park Avenue.

HK Organization and Brickman have paid $68 million for the iconic Chocolate Factory Lofts in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn. The deal at 275 Park Avenue, which closed this Tuesday, was done in affiliation with private investor Jo-Ann Obergfell.

“We just like the site for the location,” said Harry Kotowitz, a founder and principal at HK. “We believe very much in the Tech Triangle and the Navy Yard. We see an upside in the neighborhood long term.” Read More