Earth Day

Green Day: The City and Landlords are Going Green

Empire State Building is a test lab for the business case for sustainability (Photo: CoStar).

The word “green” means different things to different people. For many developers and building owners, it’s what fills their pockets. But if you’re an environmentalist, it means something else entirely. However, sustainability is now officially poised to affect everyone in real estate. Last September Mayor Bill de Blasio committed New York City to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. That means it’s time for the industry to reconsider their favorite color.

A major component of the mayor’s One City Built to Last plan is retrofitting every public building in the next 10 years for emissions reduction. Private buildings are in the mayor’s plan, too. The city hopes to catalyze the retrofitting of some 20,000 of them with its “retrofit accelerator” program, making up an estimated 15 percent of citywide built square footage. Two-thirds will be multifamily buildings, and roughly 40 percent will be government-assisted affordable or rent-stabilized buildings, if all goes according to plan. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Q&A: Peter Sotoloff, Managing Director and Head of Originations at Blackstone Real Estate Debt Strategies

Peter Sotoloff

Mortgage Observer met with Mr. Sotoloff, who BREDS Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer Michael Nash calls ‘employee No. 1.’ He spoke about his experience on both the financing and development/acquisition sides of commercial real estate and the opportunity to help establish Blackstone’s debt business in the fall of 2007. Read More

Sales Beat

Lehman to Sell Stake in 425 Park Avenue


Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is aiming to sell its 90 percent stake in 425 Park Avenue, a source familiar with the matter confirmed with The Commercial Observer. Eastdil Secured is marketing the property, according to the source.

A publicly available spreadsheet of Lehman’s commercial real estate holdings lists a building with a description similar to 425 Park Avenue: “Sandwich ground lease in an existing Class B building in New York City that is slated for demolition and redevelopment into a new office tower beginning 2015.” The list of holdings identifies Adam Spies of Easdtil Secured as the broker for the property. The source familiar confirmed Spies as the broker for 425 Park Avenue, but the listing could not be immediately verified.

The Wall Street Journal first reported the story earlier today. The Midtown East building is set to be demolished and replaced with a new office tower designed by Foster + Partners. Read More

Lease Beat

Boston Properties’ 250 West 55th Street Draws More Legal Eagles

250 West 50th Street.

According to reports, law firm Kaye Scholer will be on the move once its new digs at 250 West 55th Street are completed. The law firm has signed a letter of intent for about 260,000-square feet of space at the Boston Properties tower, which is under construction and expected to open sometime in 2014.

A spokesperson for Boston Properties declined to comment, saying that it doesn’t comment on such reports. And a spokesperson for the law firm declined to comment as well, saying only that additional details would be available at some point next week. Read More

Sales Beat

Levinson In Talks To Buy A Stake In And Redevelop 380 Madison Avenue

380 Madison Avenue

Developer David Levinson is in talks to invest in and help redevelop 380 Madison Avenue, an 840,000-square-foot Midtown office building sources say.

The property is currently controlled by the mercurial and enigmatic investor and developer Sheldon Solow who has a leasehold on the property. But that interest runs out in 2014 and the owners of the building, a venture led by Deutsche Bank’s real estate investment fund RREEF, want to bring on a partner to overhaul the antiquated tower. Read More