The Sit-Down

Riding the ‘Boomcession’ with Colliers International’s Michael Cohen

Credit: Fernando Pereira Gomes

Over the last three decades, Michael Cohen has been a driving force behind Colliers International’s transition from a family-owned, independent mom-and-pop real estate firm into a global powerhouse. As president of Colliers’s tristate operations, the third-generation executive at the firm splits his time between managerial duties and deal-making, harnessing his firm’s global resources and ownership structure to create a competitive advantage—most recently, as part of the team that sealed AppNexus’s 220,000-square-foot expansion and extension at 28-40 West 23rd Street. He spoke with The Commercial Observer last week about the significance of that deal, the staggering transformation of his company, the city’s changing real estate landscape and even his passion for theater as it relates to Bernard Madoff.  

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Stat of the Week

The Power 5: The City’s Top 5 Markets


In honor of this week’s Power 100 rankings of real estate professionals, I figured I would create the first annual Power 5 rankings of the top submarkets by year-to-date leasing activity. To make things even across all 17 submarkets, they are based on leases signed and renewed as a percentage of the submarket’s total inventory. So without further ado, here are the Power 5.

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Lease Beat

AppNexus Extends, Expands to Total 220,000 Square Feet at 28-40 West 23rd Street

AppNexus's existing office on the fifth floor of 28-40 West 23rd Street.

AppNexus signed a 10-year lease extension and expansion that will give the advertising technology platform a 220,000-square-foot footprint at 28-40 West 23rd Street.

The company’s latest lease for 220,000 square feet–130,000 square feet of it an expansion–in the Flatiron District tower comes nine months after a 24,500-square-foot expansion. AppNexus arrived at the 600,000-square-foot tower about three years ago, initially signing for 24,500 square feet.

Mark Weiss and Rob Eisenberg of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank represented the tenant. Michael Cohen and Andrew Roos of Colliers International, who are both part owners of the building, represented the landlords. Read More

Midtown South

Computing Midtown South: Tech Is Booming, but for How Long?

Midtown South.

Late last year, when the education publishing company Scholastic offered up about 60,000 square feet of sublease space at the top of the Soho office building 568 Broadway, the firm quickly found it wouldn’t be difficult to fill.

Within weeks, a host of tenants were competing for it, including several tech firms, one of the most active sectors of the leasing market in Manhattan right now. Tumblr, foursquare and AppNexus, all well-known names in the industry, moved to the front of the pack.

On the face of it, such a decision would seem easy. Of the three, only AppNexus, a firm that specializes in online advertising and is backed by the software giant Microsoft, is known to be profitable. But in a tech boom in which riches don’t always flow from the most likely sources, the deal for the space took a different turn.

The competition soon boiled down not to AppNexus but to Tumblr and foursquare, two companies that have become top brands in the new internet boom and have raised tens of millions of dollars in venture capital between them, but have yet to find income-producing platforms for their services. Read More

Lease Beat

AppNexus Expands At 28-40 West 23rd St.

AppNexus's Fifth Floor Offices At 28-40 West 23rd Street

The tech company AppNexus is expanding at 28-40 West 23rd Street, taking 24,500 square feet on the building’s fifth floor.

The deal will add to the 66,000 square feet the company already leases at the building, the 600,000-square-foot property’s entire fourth floor.

AppNexus will take the new space for five years in the deal for rents in the high $50s per square foot. Read More

The Sit-Down

Two Buildings, One Block: Andrew Roos on the Virtues of 28-40 West 23rd Street

Andrew Roos.

The success of 200 Fifth Avenue has served in many ways as the template for 28-40 West 23rd Street, and no doubt many other buildings in Midtown South. The building’s developer, L&L Holding Co., guessed the popularity of the neighborhood and bet a big reinvention of the property would draw top-shelf tenants, a gamble that paid off when it landed Grey Advertising and Tiffany & Co. Now the landlord of 28-40 West 23rd Street is in the middle of a similar kind of makeover. The Cohen, Roos and Carmel families, who together own the 600,000-square-foot tower, have plans to create a roof deck and have done deals with tech companies that are invading the neighborhood in droves. After the jump, The Commercial Observer talks to Andrew Roos, a Colliers International leasing executive and an owner of 28-40 West 23rd Street. Return at 10:30 today for a second installment with David Berkey, L&L’s director of leasing.
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