Cover Story

Times Square Marches On

New York''s Times Square

Lisa Steinberg was just a few months out of college when she was bound, gagged and stabbed to death in the office of a Gap store on West 57th Street near Broadway. It was January of 1992, halfway through David Dinkin’s only term as mayor of an increasingly anarchic and crime-plagued New York. 

The murder rate had peaked at 2,245 in 1990. But the number of homicides climbed in the Midtown South precinct—which includes Times Square—reaching 11 in 1993. East New York’s 75th precinct broke the record that year for the most murders in a single precinct: 126.   Read More

Everywhere a Sign

H&M Logo to Grace 4 Times Square

hm

H&M is prepping to emblazon its logo atop Durst Organization‘s 4 Times Square, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The ad, to be completed later this year, will accompany the 42,500-square-foot H&M store that will open at the 48-story tower’s base, where it signed a lease for a new store and the rooftop signage in October.

The Read More

Controversies

Retail Brokers ‘Kicking and Screaming’ as Landlords Skip the Middle Man

Joe Sitt

Some commercial real estate brokers are “kicking and screaming” about the audacity of some city landlords who they claim are disregarding their “exclusives” with retailers by attempting to land tenants on their own.

The idea of “skipping the middle man,” once thought of as a tool for efficiency, is enraging some brokers, who tell The Commercial Observer that large retail owners including  Joe Sitt, Jeff Sutton and Joe Moinian, are steering out of their way – but digging deep under their skin.

“Totally not kosher,” one perturbed president of a top city brokerage wrote in an email to The Commercial Observer.  “It puts the retail brokers in a difficult spot and it is morally incorrect.” Read More

ICSC2012

Condé Conundrum Brews in Lower Manhattan

Lower Manhattan

Condé Nast, the mega-publisher behind such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, holds several events per month at the Lambs Club on West 44th Street, two blocks from its 4 Times Square headquarters. It’s also been known to hold events at Michael’s on 55th Street, and a host of other venues.

Now, with the company having leased over 1.1 million square feet at 1 World Trade Center and saying goodbye to its old quarters, a new posh venue for its gatherings will have to be found, all of which has brokers asking the question: will high-end dining and retail come to Manhattan’s southern tip?

Retailers are hungry for Manhattan retail space at the moment, but lower Manhattan luxury stores may take time, said Steve Rappaport, senior managing director with SINVIN Realty. For that to change, a high-end retailer may need to stake a claim early on and wait for value to grow, Mr. Rappaport said. Read More

Lease Beat

The H&M Zone: Discount fashion retailer nabs former ESPN restaurant

HM

Swedish fashion retailer H&M will be taking the entire 42,510-square-foot Times Square space that was previously the home to the ESPN Zone.

By moving into 4 Times Square, the fashion chain becomes the latest in a line of affordable clothing retailers that are willing to brave high rents for a Times Square storefront, H&M was represented by Bob Gibson of Cushman & Wakefield. Amira Yunis, Gary Trock, and Matthew Krell, all of CBRE, represented the Durst Organization, the owners of 4 Times Square. Read More

Despite Rumors of an H&M Deal, Space at 4 Times Square Remains Open

4 Times Square Retail (Formerly Occupied by ESPN Zone)

Executives involved in leasing a prominent Times Square retail space are preparing to release a new wave of marketing materials for the storefront, dampening speculation that the space is spoken for.

About 45,000 square feet of retail has been available at the office tower 4 Times Square since former tenant ESPN Zone vacated in 2010, but recent reports and rumors had it that the fast fashion giant H&M was in advanced talks to take the whole space for a flagship store. Read More

Lease Beat

CBRE Tapped to Lease 4 Times Square Retail

4 Times Square.

CBRE has been tapped to lease up the retail space at the Durst Organization’s 4 Times Square, former home of ESPN Zone, which closed in June 2010, a victim of the recession.

Amira Yunis, an executive vice president, and Gary Trock, a senior vice president—both at the CBRE Retail Group—will lead the team marketing the Read More

The Sit-Down

Anita’s Way: Douglas Durst’s Eldest Daughter Merges Art with Real Estate

Anita Durst and colleague Kim Schnaubert, development director of Chashama. (Photo courtesy Kiki Conway)

Since launching Chashama 17 years ago out of her father Douglas Durst’s building on 44th Street in Times Square, Anita Durst has helped locate affordable or free studio and gallery space for hundreds of artists in all five boroughs. With a portfolio of 17 spaces, donated by the likes of Rockrose Development and New York City, Chashama currently manages an estimated $2 million in real estate. On the eve of the group’s Gala Monday, Mr. Durst’s eldest daughter spoke to The Commercial Observer about lessons learned from her famous family, what’s in store for her arts program in the upcoming months, and how dad helped her land a role on the sitcom 30 Rock. Read More

The Sit-Down

The Woman Who Sold the World: Cushman’s Tara Stacom on Leasing at 1 World Trade Center

Tara Stacom.

When The Commercial Observer caught up with Tara Stacom last year, the Cushman & Wakefield vice chairman was positively beaming about leasing opportunities at 1 World Trade Center, the 1,776-foot, 3.1-million-square-foot tower she’s been billed with filling with tenants. “I’m more bullish today than I was in 2007,” she said last year, shortly after news surfaced that Condé Nast would serve as anchor tenant at the building. “I did not think one of the first tenants would be a million-plus feet.” Last week, Ms. Stacom’s confidence in the building, which remains far from leased up, was still brimming over. She spoke with The Commercial Observer about the impact of the Condé Nast deal, how the Downtown office market fared in the first quarter and what to expect in the next quarter. Read More

The Sit-Down

The Power Generators: Douglas and Jody Durst on Generating Their Own Electricity at 1 Bryant Park and 1 WTC

Jody Durst. Illustration by Paul Kisselev

Douglas and Jody Durst of the family-owned Durst Organization are well known in the real estate industry for their firm’s progressive stance on environmentally sustainable building practices. Last week, the cousins spoke to The Commercial Observer about co-generator power, a revolutionary, albeit costly, method of generating electricity in buildings they own at 4 Times Square, 1 Bryant Park and, soon, 1 World Trade. Read More