Lease Beat

Just Salad Opening First UWS Location

2056 Broadway.

Fast-casual chain Just Salad is opening its 16th location with its first Upper West Side eatery, Commercial Observer has learned.

“Just Salad had been looking to open on the Upper West Side for a long time,” said Charles Rapuano of Winick Realty Group in a prepared statement. “This location was perfect for them with the foot traffic from the 72nd Street subway station, the commercial activity in the area and the health-conscious residential population that frequents the nearby yoga studios, Equinox and Soul Cycle locations.” Read More

Mortgage Observer

Chase CTL Finances Kips Bay Multifamily Acquisition from Pan Am Equities

153-155 East 32nd Street.

Chase Commercial Term Lending provided a $15 million loan for the acquisition of a multifamily rental property at 153-155 East 32nd Street in Kips Bay, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

The seven-year hybrid loan to Bronx-based Sacchetti Realty Corporation carries an interest rate in the mid-3 percent range with a loan-to-value ratio of 44 percent, according to the lender. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Investors Look Away from Multifamily Assets

Sam Chandan

With an eye to real estate’s next opportunity, cyclical investors and their lending counterparts are shifting their attention away from the apartment sector in increasing numbers. In place of multifamily, they are expanding their portfolios with an array of commercial assets, both core and value-add. As confidence in the economic expansion has grown and the appetite for risk-taking has recovered its former vigor, the allure of relatively higher yields from retail and industrial properties, in particular, has attracted a rising share of mobile capital.

The latest numbers align with cyclical investors’ updated narrative. The second quarter’s year-over-year gains in transaction volume were dominated by retail property sales, weighted to sales of small- and mid-cap properties in primary and secondary markets. Apartment trades registered more modest increases, though they remained the most traded asset overall. Read More

On the Market

NGKF Shows Off 1251 Avenue of the Americas

Christopher Perez and David Falk

Fresh off of closing on a law firm lease at the Rockefeller Center area building once known as the headquarters of Exxon, Newmark Grubb Knight Frank and Mitsui Fudosan invited brokers to view 1251 Avenue of the Americas and visualize filling the five available floors with new tenants.

The Japan-based landlord and its longtime representatives from NGKF showcased the 100-yard-long, column-free space available on the 51st floor of the 2.3-million-square-foot structure with breathtaking views in order to woo prospective tenants. Read More

Sales Beat

29K-SF Harlem Site Sells for $5.35M

2202-2210 Third Avenue.

Joseph Rishty of 2202 Third Ave, LLC has sold a 29,000-square-foot development site at 2202-2210 Third Avenue for $5.35 million.

Eastern Consolidated marketed the location on the corner of Third Avenue and 120th Street for $5.9 million, as Commercial Observer previously reported. Rent-A-Center occupies a three-story, 12,000-square-foot retail building at the site, also known as 181 East 120th Street. The furniture and electronics rent-to-own company triple-net leased the building through November 2015. The deal, which closed over the summer, included 17,000 square feet of available air rights. Read More

Lease Beat

Empire State Building Gains New Tech Tenant [Updated]

Empire State Building

BrightRoll, a video advertising platform, has become the latest TAMI (technology, advertising, media and information) company to take up residence in the landmark Empire State Building at 350 Fifth Avenue.

First reported by the New York Post, BrightRoll will move from its previous headquarters at 330 Fifth Avenue to the 55th floor of the celebrated skyscraper, and will spread across 26,286 square feet. Read More

Market Report

Report: Alterations and Renovations Rise in 2013

Renovated Space

In another show of the strength of the city’s commercial real estate market, private and public landlords implemented alterations and renovations worth $5.7 billion in 2013, a five percent rise over the 2012 total and a 25 percent upsurge over the 2011 sum, according to a report released today by the New York Building Congress.

City property owners have already initiated $3.6 billion worth of alterations and renovations in the first half of 2014, the report based on McGraw Hill Construction Dodge data found, showing that not all of the city’s office construction shows up in the glassy towers planned for large scale new developments, said Richard T. Anderson, the president of the influential construction industry stakeholder organization. Read More


Supportive Housing: Inside a New $29M Multifamily Project

Concern Bergen site

With three multifamily residences serving low-income tenants and persons recovering from psychiatric disabilities dotting Brooklyn and two more to come elsewhere in Brooklyn and the Bronx, the nonprofit Concern for Independent Living agency and brokers from Colliers International invited Commercial Observer to Crown Heights for an exclusive tour of two sites.

While the 65 supportive studio apartments at Rochester Avenue Apartments at 151-167 Rochester Avenue opened in July 2011, 55 studios plus 33 affordable one- and two-bedroom apartments at 1552 Bergen Street won’t rise from a former industrial parcel a few blocks from the existing facility until next summer. But both developments will count toward Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing goal and help the nonprofit in its mission, said Elizabeth Lunde, L.M.S.W, Concern for Independent Living’s senior associate executive director. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Related Fund Management Lends $60M For Hotel Near Hudson Yards

A rendering of the Hudson Yards project

David Marx’s 399-key hotel project near the Hudson Yards megaproject got a $60 million bridge loan from Related Fund Management and Highbridge Principal Strategies. The soon-to-rise Courtyard by Marriott sits at 461 10th Avenue, near 34th Street.

Related Fund Management, a subsidiary the transformative project’s developer, The Related Companies, launched the credit platform with New York-based investment firm Highbridge last year, with plans to invest $800 million in real estate debt, especially in gap financing. Read More


Postings: Manhattan (and Brooklyn) Transfers

Atlantic Avenue Long Island Railroad station.

New York City’s subterranean transportation system is a vast labyrinth of subway lines, and straphangers are always angling for better and improved access to it. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey have undertaken major underground transportation projects, which have started to and will continue to impact how people travel around the city. Below, Commercial Observer takes a look at some of the transit projects that have or will transform the city. Read More

The Sit-Down

ClearRock Properties Flips Buildings for Billions

ClearRock Properties

With a direct staff footprint of only five people working in space the company subleases from a law firm in Midtown, ClearRock Properties packs an outsized punch in office markets where big time partners afford the firm a much larger indirect staff. The boutique firm that Doug Winshall, a 53-year-old married father of two, and Steve Grant, a 49-year-old father of two, started five years ago boasts a portfolio of 15 buildings in the northeast, including an assemblage of properties in the South End of Stamford, Conn.’s transit-oriented Harbor Point development and a planned mixed-use residence at 331 N Street NE near Union Market in an upcoming neighborhood of Washington, D.C. But Commercial Observer quizzed the self-described “media-shy” executives on their impressive recent deals in the Manhattan office market and their business approach.   Read More

Mortgage Observer

Wells Fargo Names Horatio Jones Head of Multifamily in South Florida

Jones Horatio.

Wells Fargo has appointed Horatio Jones, one of its commercial real estate loan originators, to lead the bank’s South Florida office for multifamily GSE lending, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

Mr. Jones, who is based in Fort Lauderdale, brings more than seven years of commercial real estate lending experience to the new position, according to a Wells Fargo spokesperson. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Chetrit, Clipper Equity Score $229M Construction Loan for Flatotel Conversion

135 West 52nd Street (PropertyShark)

Prolific development duo Joseph Chetrit and Clipper Equity received $228.5 million in construction funds to convert a Midtown hotel that was foreclosed on last year to a combination of office and residential condominiums.

The Flatotel, at 135 West 52nd Street, will become a five-floor “boutique” office condominium and 37 floors of luxury residential condos, according to a representative for Meridian Capital Group, which brokered the loan with Deutsche BankRead More


Modern Spaces, EXR Launch Commercial Divisions

Modern Spaces' Evan Daniel, left, and Eric Benaim

Long Island City-centric Modern Spaces and Brooklyn-based EXR Group are expanding into the commercial real estate realm.

Modern Spaces, which has grown beyond its Long Island City roots with Manhattan and Brooklyn offices, is launching a commercial and investment property division to be headed by Evan Daniel. The new division will provide both leasing and investment sales services, covering office, industrial and retail leasing as well as land and property sales across all asset categories. Read More