Grand Openings

Lego’s Flagship Store to Soft Open This Week [Updated]

Inside the new Lego store at 200 Fifth Avenue, as of  last week.

Lego’s New York City flagship will soft open at 200 Fifth Avenue this Friday at 11 a.m., according to a spokeswoman for LEGO Systems, and the grand opening is scheduled to span Columbus Day weekend.

The toy manufacturer is a couple of months behind schedule as it was supposed to soft-open in mid-July and then officially open over the course of a weekend in August, DNAinfo reported in April.  Read More

East 23rd Street

Flatiron BID Looks to Draw High-Profile Tenants to East 23rd Street [Updated]

View of 23rd Street facing west from Park Avenue South

Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership is hoping to raise the profile of one stretch of its district that has been under the radar, in part due to scaffolding that has been up for years: East 23rd Street between Third Avenue and Avenue of the Americas.

With streetscape and free public wireless network projects underway, the BID’s executive director, Jennifer Brown, told Commercial Observer that she hopes sprucing up East 23rd Street will help “attract” high-quality tenants. Read More

The Sit-Down

No Holding Back: Robert Lapidus


Robert Lapidus remembers Midtown South vividly. Not the red hot Midtown South of today, but the Midtown South from nearly a decade and a half ago, when his firm, L&L Holding Company, bought 150 Fifth Avenue. Rents in the building were $26 per square foot, the property was operating “like a hotel,” and the submarket Read More


Midtown South, Northbound Rents

CO 4-9 Postings

Midtown South has continued its meteoric rise, overshadowing the traditional office market in Midtown. Demand remains strong in the market, where more than 12 million square feet of space has been leased in the past three years.

As large tech tenants like Google—which subleased 83,000 square feet at Chelsea Market in the last quarter—continue to snap up space, the market only stands to continue its growth.

Jonathan Mazur, director of research at Cushman & Wakefield, spoke with The Commercial Observer last week to shed light on some of the key numbers from the firm’s recent Midtown South office market report for the first quarter of 2013. Read More

The Sit-Down

Bombs, Bullion and the Bronx: David Levinson of L&L Holdings

David Levinson (Photo: Sasha Maslov)

L&L Holding Company’s development of 425 Park Avenue may be the company’s current marquee project, but the firm, which chairman and CEO David Levinson co-founded with Robert Lapidus in 2000, continues to make a mark on Midtown South. In January, L&L purchased 114 Fifth Avenue in a $165 million joint venture, planning to model it after 200 Fifth Avenue, a thriving symbol of Midtown South’s bull real estate market. Mr. Levinson, 64, who owns a stake in the New York Yankees, spoke with The Commercial Observer about Midtown South, the threat of bomb attacks and the Bronx Bombers. Read More

Lease Beat

Lego Signs Lease For Flagship At 200 Fifth Avenue, Store Will Cozy Up To Eataly


LEGO Systems has inked a 10-year lease for 7,703 square feet of retail space at 200 Fifth Avenue. The company behind the beloved children’s building blocks projects that the new flagship will open in January 2014, and in a building that for 75 years was known as the International Toy Center before L&L Holdings bought it in 2009, the New York Post reported.

L&L’s David C. Berkey and Andrew Wiener represented the building in-house, while Cushman & Wakefield‘s Jonathan Scibilia and Andrew Kahn represented the toy tenant. Read More

Lease Beat

Tiffany Signs For More Space At 200 Fifth, Giving It 100-Percent Occupancy

200 Fifth Avenue at night. (Courtesy of L&L Holdings)

Tiffany and Co. is expanding its footprint at L&L Holding Co.’s 200 Fifth Avenue, signing for an additional 57,691 square feet of office space and bringing its total share of the building to 405,489 square feet. The deal makes the luxury jeweler 200 Fifth’s biggest tenant and sends L&L into the thick of the holiday season with the bright and shiny gift of 100-percent occupancy at the 800,000-square-foot Flatiron District property.

Studley chairman and CEO Mitchell Steir, along with the firm’s Matt Barlow, David Goldstein and Greg Taubin represented Tiffany in the deal, which had an asking rent of $85 per square foot. David Berkey and Andrew Wiener were the in-house reps for L&L. Read More

Lease Beat

IMG Worldwide Does 30K S/F Deal At 200 Fifth Avenue

200 Fifth Avenue

IMG Worldwide has leased nearly 30,000 square feet at 200 Fifth Avenue, roughly half of the building’s seventh floor, for 15-years.

IMG is a media and marketing company involved primarily in television production and talent management. The company will be relocating to the space from the General Motors Building in Midtown. Read More


The Big Squeeze: How Technology Start-Ups Found Midtown South, and What Happens When the Bubble Bursts

Midtown South.

If Don Draper still ran an advertising agency, he’d have a very different Manhattan life. Instead of a dozen martinis and oysters at Grand Central every night after work, it’d probably be a quick Peroni and antipasti at Eataly before hitting the gym.

He might even be home early enough to kiss Betty and read a book to his kids. And, of course, he’d work in a fabulous open-plan office in Manhattan’s most desired commercial real estate market, Midtown South. Read More

Lease Beat

Lee & Associates Find New Home at 600 Madison Avenue

600 Madison Avenue.

Lee & Associates is moving into a new 22,000 square foot office at 600 Madison Avenue to accommodate the real estate services firm’s surging growth in recent months.

The company is taking the entire third floor of 600 Madison Avenue in a four-year sublease from Tiffany & Co., the jewelry company that vacated the property last year to relocate to the high end Midtown South building 200 Fifth Avenue. Read More

Building Expectations

Lehman Brothers Unloads 200 Fifth to JPMorgan in $700 M. Deal

How the Lehman-ade gets made.

As expected (we noted last week this would likely happen and soon), Lehman Brothers has agreed to unload its majority stake in the old Toy Building at 200 Fifth Avenue in a deal that values it at about $700 million. It is one of the biggest building sales of 2011 so far, and one of the most significant moves by the croaked investment bank’s holding company in its campaign to liquidate its real estate. The buyer is a wing of JPMorgan. Read More

Treasure Trove

Tiffany & Co. To Relocate Headquarters to Flatiron District

It’s finally official. Tiffany & Co., the legendary jeweler whose Fifth Avenue, multi-tiered wedding cake of a flagship store regularly attracts hordes of bauble-seeking tourists and New Yorkers alike, will relocate its corporate headquarters from midtown Manhattan to the Flatiron district, according to a just-issued press release. The Observer broke the news about Tiffany’s imminent Read More