Renderings Revealed for Brooklyn’s 120 Union Avenue, 577 Baltic Street

Renderings for 120 Union Avenue (above) and 577 Baltic Street.

Adam America Real Estate Group is developing 120 Union Avenue in East Williamsburg and 577 Baltic Street in Boerum Hill and has given Commercial Observer a first look at the renderings.

Adam America has partnered with Slate Property Group and Naveh Shuster Limited to erect a $65 million, 75,000-square-foot building at 120 Union Avenue between Harrison Avenue and Broadway. Aufgang Architects designed the multi-family, mixed-use property, according to a press release issued by Slate last September. When the building is completed in 2016, it will include 96 rental units, a roof deck and multiple tenant lounges, according to a spokeswoman for Adam America. The building will also feature 1,750 square feet of retail space.

“We wanted to develop something modern, but not a glass building that would be out-of-context. We felt this design fit into the neighborhood aesthetic with a modern take on the brick and industrial elements of the area,” said David Schwartz, principal and founder of Slate Property Group. Read More

Lease Beat

Children’s Aid Society Grabs 25K SF on 125th Street

4 West 125th Street

After the United Charities sold off its historic building last fall, one of its member organizations signed a five-year lease to relocate an administration office uptown, Commercial Observer has learned.

The Children’s Aid Society, a 160-year-old nonprofit that helps children in poverty, still operates from the building in Midtown South that the Chinese developer Cheerland Investments bought for $128 million in October, according to public records. The aid society took 25,965 square feet spread over floors two through four at 4 West 125th Street in Harlem, the nonprofit’s officials and their brokers told CO. Read More

Wired City

AT&T Revives Blackberry

RIM And AT&T Announce New Touchscreen Blackberry

While most of its competitors have abandoned it, AT&T is bringing the Blackberry back. The company announced that it will carry the Blackberry Classic on the company’s website and in retail stores. The company will offer the phone for $0 down to consumers who wish to delay the expense of getting the smartphone. Monthly payments for the Blackberry Classic range from $14 to $49.99 per month, varying by contract and plan type. Read More

Wired City

Midtown’s Hippodrome Receives Wired Certification


One of Midtown’s trendiest buildings, the Hippodrome at 1120 Avenue of the Americas, has earned a platinum-level Wired Certification. The certification means that the building can handle high-capacity technology and fiber availability for its tenants. It’s the highest level certification awarded by the group.

WiredNYC, the New York City-based organization that focuses on helping buildings improve infrastructure across the city, issued its coveted Wired Certification to the building located between West 43rd and West 44th Streets. The purpose of the program, developed by the city’s Economic Development Corporation, is to provide information about technology in commercial buildings across the city while helping property owners upgrade wiring and infrastructure for technology that caters to its tenants. Read More

Under Construction

The New Whitney at 99 Gansevoort Street

The new Whitney building

The Whitney Museum of American Art’s move to a Meatpacking District site at 99 Gansevoort Street between the High Line and the Hudson River will be complete when the new stunner designed by Renzo Piano opens to the public on May 1. The building at Washington and Gansevoort Streets represents a return from the Upper East Side to the Midtown South area for the institution founded in Greenwich Village in 1930 by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art will have programming at the Whitney’s former uptown home for at least eight years after the new museum opens). With 50,000 square feet of indoor gallery space and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition areas, the new Whitney will boast “the first comprehensive view of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art,” according to the museum’s website. Read More

REBNY 2015

How NYC and REBNY Have Evolved Over Spinola’s Tenure

Mets become world champs after winning game 7 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox at Shea Stadium. (T.G. Higgins/Getty Images)

When Steven Spinola became president of the Real Estate Board of New York in 1986, New York City was not the gentrified, scrubbed-clean, 21st century metropolis it is today. It was a city that was crime-riddled, where one was more likely to find heroin in Bryant Park than a summer movie festival and, with more than 8,000 bikes stolen annually, any program resembling CitiBike would have been a pipe dream. Here is a glimpse of the changes the city and REBNY have undergone over the past three decades. Read More

REBNY 2015

A Look at REBNY’s Presidents: From 1973 to Today

Steven Spinola.

Although REBNY has been in existence since the late 19th century, the organization’s presidency position is relatively new. Prior to 1973, the chairman was the highest elected official in the organization. This position was, and remains, a part-time role. According to A Centennial Appreciation 1896-1996, a retrospective of REBNY’s first 100 years published in 1996, it was decided that a “full-time, paid president and a larger professional staff were needed to make the board a sufficiently potent force in New York’s increasingly complex civic and economic affairs.” The full-time presidency was first held by D. Kenneth Patton; John H. Banks will be the fourth person to assume the role.  Read More

REBNY 2015

REBNY Ticktock: An Itinerary to Follow Thursday Night at the Hilton

Big clock

Want to know where to be and when at the Real Estate Board of New York’s 119th gala Thursday night? In addition to the banquet with its honorees, there are a slew of cocktail parties—all at the New York Hilton hotel in Midtown—where you will have more opportunities to hobnob with a who’s who in real estate before wandering down the hall to the grand ballroom for the banquet. Read More

Lease Beat

Real Estate and Venture Capital Firm Renews in Midtown

505 Fifth Avenue

This private holding company is holding onto its space.

Corigin Holdings, the parent company of real estate developer and operator Corigin Real Estate Group and tech startup investor Corigin Ventures, signed a five-year and two-month deal to remain in its 10,586-square-foot headquarters on the entire 22nd floor of Axel Stawski‘s 505 Fifth AvenueCommercial Observer has learned. The tenant agreed to an early renewal, according to a person familiar with the matter. Read More

REBNY 2015

An Etiquette Guide to the 2015 REBNY Gala

(Illustration by Luke McGarry)

While Emily Post is the queen of all forms of etiquette, we doubt she has ever codified the behavior of real estate professionals attending the Real Estate Board of New York’s annual gala.

Held on Thursday, Jan. 15, the $1,100-per-ticket REBNY banquet at the New York Hilton Hotel is a breeding ground for hobnobbing and celebration. With more than 2,000 people in attendance, it can be a wild night. As Douglas Elliman’s Faith Hope Consolo said: “This is not an easy audience to control. Real estate in New York is like one big theater. Everyone in real estate thinks they’re in Hollywood.” So, for folks who plan to attend the industry’s biggest night out, Commercial Observer asked event veterans for some advice on how to have a fruitful night at the New York Hilton for the 119th annual banquet. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Retail Lending Surges As Investors Hunt Yield: CBRE

Lender Market Share (CBRE)

Lending on retail properties in the U.S. skyrocketed in the first three quarters of 2014, up more than 50 percent from the same period the year before, a new report from CBRE provided exclusively to Mortgage Observer shows.

Driving the trend was the appetite for yield, as low interest and cap rates drove the expedient investor away from the tried and true multifamily sector and into the arms of retail. Read More

REBNY 2015

Industry Veterans Offer Pearls of Wisdom for REBNY’s Incoming President

LePatner, Barry B   BBL color

With less than two months to go before John Banks assumes the president-elect position at the powerful Real Estate Board of New York, industry professionals are mulling the next chapter at the organization. Mr. Banks, the current vice president of government relations at Consolidated Edison, will replace Steven Spinola after the latter’s almost three decades as REBNY’s president. Here is some of the advice that real estate players had to offer Mr. Banks:   Read More

Mortgage Observer

Hotel Giraffe Refinanced With CCRE

Hotel Giraffe

Boutique lodge The Hotel Giraffe refinanced with a $39 million CMBS loan from CCRE negotiated by HKS Capital, Mortgage Observer has learned.

The 39-key hotel is owned by self-described “indie hotelier” Henry Kallan, who has been a client of HKS’ Jerry Swartz’s for more than a decade. Read More

REBNY 2015

A Year in the Life of REBNY


The Real Estate Board of New York helped property owners with their tax bills and assisted little leaguers with their balls and strikes in 2014.

This past year, the REBNY helped create new construction requirements that now govern mechanics, plumbing and building at every construction site in New York City. The organization worked to negotiate new agreements with both residential and commercial building worker unions representing tens of thousands of employees. REBNY also successfully pushed for a change in expense reporting for city tax purposes, which gives up to 90 percent of affected property owners a break. Read More