Lease Beat

Learning Toy Store to Open First Manhattan Location on UES

1029 Third Avenue

The first Manhattan location of educational toy store franchise Learning Express Toys will open in time for the holidays in a 1,668-square-foot ground- and lower-floor space on the Upper East Side, Commercial Observer has learned.

An outpost of the toy, book and game store with 130 U.S. locations will open in December with 818 square feet of ground-floor space at the Savoy Shops at 1029 Third Avenue at East 61st Street, according to a spokeswoman with Winick Realty Group. Dylan’s Candy Bar anchors the building. Read More

Lease Beat

Fitness Centers Bulk Up Leases in Gowanus

600 Degraw Street

Two fitness centers have agreed to grow their footprint on Degraw Street in Gowanus, Brooklyn through ten-year leases in former warehouses owned by the same landlord, officials with Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates said this week.

Strength and conditioning practitioners Brooklyn Crossfit will add a 5,000-square-foot space at 608 Degraw Street on top of its existing space at 597 Degraw Street, while the attack-and-parry specialists at Brooklyn Fencing will expand from the 5,500-square-foot ground floor to occupy an entire two-story, 11,000-square-foot structure at 600 Degraw Street, Kalmon Dolgin broker Allison Chambers told Commercial Observer. Read More

Lease Beat

Sam Chang Snaps Up Times Square Parking Lot in Lease [Updated]

322-326 West 44th Street. (Lauren Elkies Schram)

Prolific hotelier Sam Chang of McSam Hotel Group has picked up a parking lot in the Times Square area through a long-term land lease, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Chang partnered with M&R Hotel Group, a development company that purchases and builds hotels, to acquire the 35,400-square-foot through-block site at 322-326 West 44th Street between Eighth and Ninth Avenues in a 99-year triple-net lease with the owner, Manhattan Parking Group. Mr. Chang said the deal closed a couple of weeks ago at $775,000 a year in rent. Read More

Lease Beat

RBC Capital Nabs More Rock Center Space

1211 Avenue of the Americas

Financial services group Nordea Bank and investment bank RBC Capital Markets booked largescale leases at 1211 Avenue of the Americas, Crain’s New York Business reported earlier this week.

RBC Capital Markets, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada, will expand by 15,000 square feet to a total of 63,000 square feet on the 29th and 33rd floors of the 44-story tower in the Rockefeller Center area, the publication reported. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Great Neck Co-op Pays Down First Mortgage Two Years Early With NCB

2 East Mill Drive (Zillow)

A Great Neck, N.Y., co-op received a $25 million first mortgage with a $2.5 million line of credit from National Cooperative Bank, a representative for the bank confirmed to Mortgage Observer.

Great Neck Terrace Owners Corp., the owners’ association for 2 East Mill Drive in Great Neck took the 10-year loan to replace a previous $19 million mortgage with a $2 million line of credit two years early. That loan, also from NCB, had a rate of 3.4 percent, the representative said. Read More

Lease Beat

NBA Scores Swank New Space on Fifth Avenue

545 Fifth Avenue.

The National Basketball Association has signed a lease at 545 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 45th Street, ending its search for a permanent flagship store space beloved by basketball fans.

First reported by the New York Post, city permits indicate that the space includes 23,957 square feet and 76 feet of frontage along Fifth Avenue. The 13-story property is owned by the Moinian Group, which declined to comment on the deal. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Security National Refis Part of Portfolio With Karlin Real Estate

The Alliance Bank building in St. Paul, part of the portfolio that was refinanced.

Karlin Real Estate, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment firm, provided an affiliate of Eureka, Calif.-based Security National Master Holding Co. with a $37.9 million credit facility to refinance six commercial assets located throughout the U.S., Mortgage Observer has learned.

Karlin’s financing includes a $25.8 million bridge loan secured by a five-property, 1.4 million-square-foot portfolio of office and retail properties in Minnesota, Mississippi, Texas, Illinois and Michigan, a spokesperson for Karlin told MO. Karlin also provided a $12.1 million short-term loan to refinance a stabilized 184,608-square-foot office property in Louisiana. Read More

Sales Beat

Nonprofit Nabs Condo at Setai Wall Street for $8.5M

40 Broad Street. (CityRealty)

Anti-poverty, policy and advocacy nonprofit Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies has purchased a 17,786-square-foot unit at 40 Broad Street, also known as the Setai Wall Street, for $8.5 million, Commercial Observer has learned.

The commercial unit spans the entire fifth floor and the city’s Department of Buildings has already approved plans there for 47 executive offices, according to the marketing materials. The nonprofit is expected to relocate from its headquarters at the landmarked Church Missions House at 281 Park Avenue South, which it is in contract to sell for $50 millionRead More

Lease Beat

Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group to Relocate in Midtown

57 West 57th Street.

The Mount Sinai Hospital-affiliated Manhattan Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group will grow its Manhattan footprint in the spring by moving from a temporary Midtown location to the Cohen, Carmel and Getreu families’ 57 West 57th StreetCommercial Observer has learned.

The medical group that also has a Long Island City location signed a long-term lease for the entire 10,315-square-foot 15th floor of the 20-story property, said officials with Colliers International. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Applegrad Buys More of the Bronx With $14M From Signature

1420 Grand Concourse

Bronx landlord Sam Applegrad bought a $19 million multifamily building in the borough with $14.25 million from Signature Bank, Mortgage Observer has exclusively learned.

The loan for the purchase of 1420 Grand Concourse has an interest rate of 3.375, according to a representative for Eastern Union Funding, which brokered the deal. The five-year loan has a one-year interest only period.  Read More

Lease Beat

Video Game Developer Signs at 1 WTC

1 World Trade Center. (Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

In the 12th lease to be signed at 1 World Trade Center, High 5 Games, a digital game creator, has signed a 87,663-square-foot deal spanning the entire 58th and 59th floors of the office tower, according to a press release about the deal.

The game developer is relocating to larger digs from 770 Broadway in the second quarter of 2015. Its offices are being designed by Gensler and built by The Durst Organization. Durst and the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey own the building. Read More

Real Estate and Politics

Council Committee Approves Astoria Cove Mega-Project

Costa Constantinides

The massive Astoria Cove project is a major stride closer to launching—as is long-proposed ferry boat service for the Queens waterfront area.

After months of negotiating and hours of backroom deliberation, the City Council’s powerful Land Use Committee today stamped its approval on the controversial 1,700-unit luxury development—permitted that it set aside 468 units for low- and middle-income tenants, hire unionized construction workers and building staff, include a co-operative supermarket, pay for improvements to local parks and a senior center and commit $5 million to the construction of a ferry dock. Read More

Lease Beat

Toll Brothers Moving Manhattan HQ to 75 Broad Street

The lobby at 75 Broad Street.

Horsham, Pa.-based Fortune 100 home builder Toll Brothers is relocating its Manhattan headquarters from 99 Wall Street to 75 Broad Street, JEMB Realty announced.

Toll signed a lease for 8,100 square feet on the 21st floor at the building between Beaver and South William Streets, and is slated to move in by the end of the year, according to a spokeswoman for JEMB, the building’s owner. Read More

Lease Beat

Education Nonprofit to Move Off Campus in Harlem

340 St. Nicholas Avenue

The Harlem chapter of national student service provider Say Yes to Education will relocate from the Teachers College of Columbia University in Morningside Heights to Central Harlem in January through a five-year, 5,095-square-foot lease at the Richman Group’s Balton building, Commercial Observer has learned.

The move will expand the nonprofit’s footprint with an office space on the ground and lower levels of the new 156-unit residential building at 340 St. Nicholas Avenue where asking rents ran for $32 per square foot, officials with ABS Partners Real Estate said. The tenant picked the space for both its setup and whereabouts on the northeast corner of West 127th Street, said Mark Tergesen, a senior managing director at ABS. Read More