Construction Finance

Citizens Bank Originates $50M Construction Loan for Chicago Housing Development

Vue53 Rendering.

Citizens Bank provided a $50 million construction loan to an affiliate of Blue Vista Capital Management for a mixed-use apartment development serving Chicago’s Hyde Park and Kenwood neighborhoods, Commercial Observer has first learned.

The rental property is being built in partnership with the University of Chicago, according to the borrower and lender. Avison Young and Atlanta-based Peak Campus Development are also partners in the $75 million project. Read More


AY Hires Former Savills Studley Managing Director

Toronto-based brokerage Avison Young has lured away Dan Gorczycki, formerly a managing director at Savills Studley, as a senior director in the New York City office, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Gorczycki will handle debt and equity capital placements with a focus on acquisition financing, construction financing and equity raises. He will be on David Eyzenberg’s team, a source said, and report to Arthur Mirante and A. Mitti Liebersohn. Read More

The Lobby

Avison Young Taps New Principal, President in NYC Office

A. Mitti Liebersohn.

A. Mitti Liebersohn has been named principal and president of Avison Young‘s New York City office, joining company Principal and Tri-State President Arthur Mirante to grow the firm’s presence, the firm announced.

Mr. Liebersohn will be assuming the managing director responsibilities that Mr. Mirante had taken over from Greg Kraut, who transitioned to a senior broker role a couple of years ago. Read More

power profile

Arthur Mirante is Avison Young’s Natural-Born Leader

Mr. Mirante received a football, signed by Joe Namath and Emerson Boozer, when he was honored at a United Way charity event (Photo: Adam Jones/Commercial Observer).

Arthur Mirante really digs his job—actually only two-thirds of it. He loves new business development and servicing the clients, but the managing director aspect? Not so much. In fact, he plans to hire someone to take over that position within five weeks.

That was a part of the job he assumed from broker Greg Kraut, who left CBRE for Avison Young in 2011, because “this is the best mid-sized hybrid,” Mr. Kraut said. Read More

On the Market

Downtown Brooklyn Development Site Hits Market [Updated]

211-215 Schermerhorn

The owner of a vacant lot in Downtown Brooklyn with potential for development and a premium purchase price has placed the property on the market, Commercial Observer has learned.

Brooklyn developer Nicholas Cammarato bought the 7,556-square-foot lot at 211-215 Schermerhorn Street in 2013 for $16 million, according to property records, but the site might fetch much more this time around in a neighborhood where development site sales are booming. Read More

Lease Beat

British Tech Firm Signs Lease in Midtown East

685 Third Avenue

Cloud-based business software provider NewVoice Media will transition in the first quarter of 2015 into a permanent New York City office that’s three times the Hampshire, England-based company’s temporary space, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company signed a five-year, 6,487-square-foot lease to move to the 16th floor of TIAA-CREF’s 685 Third Avenue between East 43rd and East 44th Streets from an approximately 2,000-square-foot interim space, officials with Avison Young said. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Doral Bank Bets on Senegal

Senegal flag

Manhattan below 96th Street has not been home to much in the way of multifamily development of late, as high land prices have pushed out most non-condominium development in prime areas.

That—and other facts—make the $42.5 million non-recourse construction loan that the developers of luxury rental building 227 East 44th Street just received all the more interesting. Read More

Development Sites

Upper West Side Condo Development Could Fetch $70M

219-223 West 77th Street. (Credit: Avison Young)

Avison Young will bring an Upper West Side development site at 219-223 West 77th Street to the market in the coming weeks that the firm said could bring offers into the $70 million range.

The 7,700-square-foot lot currently holds a 42,000-square-foot parking garage – with an additional basement space – that will very likely be razed to make way for a new residential development project that could reach 77,000-square-feet. Read More

Lease Beat

Western Union Signs Direct Deal for its Space at 199 Water

199 Water Street

Western Union, which currently leases a 29th floor space at 199 Water Street as a subtenant of Wells Fargo, will now lease it directly from landlord Jack Resnick & Sons, Commercial Observer has learned. 

The worldwide global payment services company’s new 10-year direct lease of 20,689 square feet in the 1.1 million-square-foot lower Manhattan building will start on Jan. 1. Asking rents were in the high $40s per square foot. Read More


‘You May Be Right’ About Bedford-Stuyvesant

A young Billy Joel sports a switchblade.

In Billy Joel’s 1980 hit, “You May Be Right,” the singer boasted of his “crazy” antics crashing parties, riding his motorcycle in the rain and even walking  “through Bedford-Stuy alone.” 

Neighborhoods like Park Slope and Williamsburg have long been the headline-grabbers when it comes to booming Brooklyn neighborhoods. But the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood is quickly losing the rough-and-tumble reputation Mr. Joel alluded to, and is now considered a prime candidate as Brooklyn’s next up-and-coming real estate frontier. Read More


New Jersey ‘Life Village’ to Assist Kids with Special Needs

A rendering of the "Life Village."

Avison Young is teaming with non-profit group the Friendship Circle to oversee the conversion and buildout of a new 45,000-square-foot state-of-the-art educational and therapeutic facility designed for youths with special needs.  

The “Life Village” facility, which will become the third “Life Town” facility of its kind in the country, will include a 12,000-square-foot town center, complete with a bank, grocery store, restaurants and much more.  Read More

Lease Beat

Samsung Expands Lease on West 26th Street

30 West 26th Street

Samsung Information Systems of America is expanding with a contiguous lease in a Meringoff Properties building, bringing its total square footage on West 26th Street to roughly 16,000 square feet, a source with knowledge of the deal said.

The wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics took the entire 7,900-square-foot sixth floor at 30 West 26th Street, adding to its 7,900-square-foot seventh-floor lease. Read More

Lease Beat

Avison Young Named Exclusive Office Leasing Agent of Strand Building

Strand Bookstore

Avison Young has been named the exclusive office leasing agent of The Strand Building at 826 Broadway,The Commercial Observer has learned.

Michael Leff, Anthony LoPresti and Stephen DeFlorio of the fast-growing commercial real estate services firm will manage leasing on behalf of the building’s landlord, Bass Real Estate. The Union Square-area property is home to the legendary Strand Book Store and its 18 miles of books. Read More