Lease Beat

1 New York Plaza Adds to Its Lunchtime Repertoire

Naya Express in Midtown (Photo courtesy: Naya).

A fast-growing Middle Eastern food chain is heading Downtown among a cluster of other chains aimed at the lunchtime crowd, Commercial Observer has learned.

Naya Express inked a 10-year deal earlier this week for a 1,620-square-foot site at the redeveloped 1 New York Plaza, according to brokers in the lease agreement. Its neighbors include Chipotle and Starbucks, which have already set up shop, as well as the salad shop Chopped and burger joint Schnippers. Read More

Lease Beat

Retailer OSP Group Inks Lease at Brookfield’s 1 New York Plaza [Updated]

One New York Plaza.

OSP Group, an online retail-brand portfolio catering to plus-size consumers, is moving its headquarters from Midtown to the southern tip of Manhattan at 1 New York Plaza, The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

According to the Journal, OSP Group signed a 15-year lease for 156,000 square feet on the 13th and 14th floors of the building. The 2.5-million-square-foot-tower is owned by Brookfield Properties. The company will be moving from its current locations at 462 Seventh Avenue and 463 Seventh Avenue, both between West 35th and West 36th Streets. Read More

Lease Beat

1 New York Plaza Scores Five New Retail Concourse Tenants [Updated]

1 New York Plaza.

Brookfield Office Properties has signed leases with five new retail tenants at its 1 New York Plaza within the past six weeks, bringing the 42,000-square-foot retail concourse to 65 percent leased, Commercial Observer has learned.

The new tenants are Starbucks (1,200 square feet), Chipotle (1,800 square feet), Chop’t Creative Salad Company (2,400 square feet), Cobbler Express (950 square feet) and Optometric Arts (950 square feet). Read More

Lease Beat

Brookfield Secures Retro Fitness as 1 New York Plaza Tenant

1 New York Plaza.

New Jersey-based Retro Fitness signed a lease with Brookfield Office Properties for a 17,000 square-foot space at 1 New York Plaza, The Real Deal reported last week. The gym will be located in a post-Superstorm Sandy renovated, 40,000 square-foot concourse of the Lower Manhattan building.

Retro’s lease marks its first location in Manhattan. The gym employs a franchise business model and offers economical fitness memberships from $19.99 a month, according to the company’s website. Read More

The Sit-Down

JLL’s Downtown Don: John Wheeler

John Wheeler. (Credit: Lea Rubin)

John Wheeler was tapped in March 2012 to run JLL’s lower Manhattan office after returning to the firm in 2009. He is a managing director at the company and has been with JLL for 14 years. He had two stints working on the principle side of the business for Gramercy Capital and Antares Real Estate Partners. Today he directs JLL’s efforts on Gramercy Capital’s 13.5-million-square-foot national portfolio. A couple of his key transactions have been a 500,000-square-foot sublease to Morgan Stanley at 1 New York Plaza and a 450,000-square-foot master lease to the City of New York at 180 Water Street. In his entire career, Mr. Wheeler, 52, has negotiated 13 million square feet of leases for clients. Last week, Commercial Observer sat down with Mr. Wheeler in his office at 140 Broadway and talked about lower Manhattan post-Superstorm Sandy, leasing prices being pushed from the bottom up and the newly distinguished submarket of the Water Street corridor. Read More

Lease Beat

Revlon Relocates to 1 New York Plaza


Revlon has reportedly signed a 15-year lease for the top two floors at Brookfield Office Properties1 New York Plaza in a relocation from 237 Park Avenue, joining a flight of value-seeking firms to recently head Downtown.

The 91,194-square-foot lease covers floors 49 and 50, the latter of which is a glass box-style penthouse with 15-foot ceilings, according to the New York Post, which first reported the deal earlier this week and noted that former occupant Goldman Sachs removed columns from the space to accommodate their trading floor. Read More

Lease Beat

NAIC Follows Revlon to 1 New York Plaza


The National Association of Insurance Commissioners will relocate its Capital Markets and Investment Analysis Office to 1 New York Plaza from 48 Wall Street, Commercial Observer has learned.

The regulatory organization has signed a 13-year lease for a 19,218-square-foot portion of the 42nd floor of the Brookfield Office Properties’ building and will pay rent starting in the low-$40s per square foot, according to data from CompStak. Read More

Lease Beat

Davis Brody Bond Inks at 1 New York Plaza

One New York Plaza.

Davis Brody Bond has signed a deal for an office in the Financial District. 

The architectural design firms will be taking 26,354-square-feet in the Brookfield Office Properties-owned 1 New York Plaza. The deal, according to data from Compstak, is set to span across a portion of the 42nd floor of the building. 

Read More

Year in Real Estate

The Year in Real Estate: From GSA to Hurricane Sandy, A Look Back at 2012

CP 12-18 Year in Leasing, Page 20

Just when New York’s traditional geographic dividing lines were beginning to seem quaint, Hurricane Sandy made landfall and brought them back to light.

Downtown, which over the years had become harder and harder to distinguish from uptown, was plunged into darkness, sending the relatively young and vaguely creative well above 14th Street nosebleed territory in search of power. Only the Brooklyn side of the Williamsburg Bridge stayed illuminated, a stark metaphor for the borough’s slow transformation into a contender.

But in commercial real estate, boundaries continued to disappear. In January, Condé Nast expanded its 1.05-million-square-foot lease at 1 World Trade Center by 138,773 square feet, helping lower Manhattan shed its stodgy finance-centric reputation and prompting slight panic among the owners of Midtown media canteens like Michael’s. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

One New York Plaza Re-Opens its Doors After Sandy

One New York Plaza is officially open again – as of this past Saturday – following a shutdown due to tropical storm Sandy. Building owner, Brookfield Office Properties, said that the company has property, casualty and flood insurance and anticipates full coverage of losses. “The storm will have no material financial impact on the company,” the firm said as part of a release.

Hurricane Sandy caused a surge that increased ocean water levels and flooded numerous coastal areas of New York City, including the southern tip of Manhattan where One New York Plaza is located.

“Brookfield’s property operations and maintenance personnel removed all water, restored services and prepared the building for the safe return of tenants,” a Brookfield spokesperson said. Read More

Post-Tropical Storm Sandy

Prepare They Did, Yet Property Owners Hit Hard by Sandy

2012-11-01 17.52.48

In the face of one of the worst natural disasters in the city’s history, commercial real estate landlords braced for Hurricane Sandy, employing every measure possible to hold property damage to a minimum and keep tenants safe.

But not even prophetic foresight could have allowed the city’s landlords—or New York City as a whole—to prevent much of the destruction that the mammoth storm wreaked across the five boroughs.

The road to recovery, especially in low-lying coastal areas like Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways, will take months, if not years. Lower Manhattan went dark for days, with many companies largely shutting down due to power outages and salt water flooding, which is especially corrosive to mechanical equipment.

“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, who struggled to find words to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan. Read More