Lease Beat

Financial Firms Ink Full-Floor Deals at 1140 Avenue of the Americas

1140 Avenue of the Americas

Two financial services firms have signed 12,750-square-foot full-floor deals at 1140 Avenue of the Americas, The Commercial Observer has learned.

Trilogy Global Advisors will relocate from the Grace Building to the 18th floor of the Equity Office property. The tenant will pay rent starting at approximately $80 per square foot in a 10-year deal, according to data from CompStak.

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Mortgage Observer

Experts: Commercial Real Estate Has Returned to 2007


It is hard to believe that it was just a few years ago—specifically in 2007—when a perfect storm of positive events was taking place in the financial and real estate markets. The S&P 500 reached record highs, CMBS transactions grew to nearly $770 billion, the Blackstone Group completed its $39 billion purchase of Equity Office Properties Trust and then sold eight buildings in the Equity Office portfolio to Harry Macklowe for $7 billion, foreign investors were purchasing commercial real estate at record levels and everyone was purchasing residential condominiums. In short, happy days were here again.

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Mortgage Observer

From Construction to Refinancing, Capital for Hotels is Pouring In

Capital Flowing For Hotels

When New York’s largest independent hotel developer and owner, BD Hotels, began exploring sources of capital this year for its latest projects, the company’s co-founders decided to diversify their approach to construction financing due to a growing of number of potential lenders.

Richard Born and Ira Drukier, who partnered in 1986 and now own and operate 25 hotels in New York, including the Maritime Hotel in Chelsea and the Bowery Hotel in the East Village, are in talks with a foreign investor to provide secondary capital for an upcoming development in Midtown, while sticking with a traditional bank for their first construction loan. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Experts: Lots of Opportunities for U.S. Investors in European Debt

Southern Spain.

When comparing the re-emergence of Europe’s real estate market with how real estate has recovered in the United States, investors and analysts speaking to The Mortgage Observer often pointed out, to use a baseball metaphor, that Europe today is barely in the first inning. Of course, this metaphor would hardly be appreciated in Europe. Nonetheless, it is fitting, given that even overseas, the game is increasingly an all-American one. Read More

Lease Beat

iLevel Solutions Signs 11,000 SF Sublease at 2 Penn Plaza

(Credit: WiredNewYork)

iLevel Solutions has subleased an 11,000-square-foot portion of Forest Electric’s space on the fourth floor of 2 Penn Plaza, the companies announced this morning.

The deal represents the firm’s first foray into the New York City office market, a push to grow and expand beyond its second offices in New Jersey.

“iLevel Solutions needed more space for staff to develop innovative software and support top tier customers,” said Ted Rotante, an executive managing director with Colliers International, who represented Forest Electric with Ernest DeLucia and James Marcellino, in a prepared statement. “The iLevel team wanted office space consistent with a technology company culture while also affording a convenient commute.” Read More

Lease Beat

Al Jazeera Reportedly Turned Off By ‘Too Many Columns’ at Former Times Building

Interior at 229 W. 43rd St. boasts lofty feel but perhaps too many columns

Bad breath.  Body odor.  Too many columns.

Al Jazeera reportedly eyed the former New York Times building at 229 West 43rd Street as a potential headquarters for its expanding U.S. operations, but the news agency may have been turned off when it saw “too many columns,” The Wall Street Journal reported today.

Though the building has drawn interest from numerous tech and creative firms, which place great value on lofty, open workspaces, even a single column can pose a big problem for large TV studios.

“Most studios require large areas of column free space, in addition to high ceilings,” Jason Schwartzenberg, a corporate managing director at Studley who focuses on creative tenants, told The Commercial Observer. Read More


34th Street Partnership Eyes Ambitious Retail Makeover


This week, as brokers and retailers descend upon Manhattan for the International Council of Shopping Centers’ conference in New York, retail consultants John Harding and Richard Cohan, of the 34th Street Partnership, will be meeting with eight to 10 representatives of brands, restaurants and stores each day to convince them to seek locations in the 34th Street area. Given the retail and brand presence already in place along the retail corridor, they may not have to try very hard.

Mr. Cohan, one of the organization’s retail specialists, lists B&H, Gap, Victoria’s Secret, H&M, Foot Locker and Zara as brands that have found a home in the area. There are also newcomers—Joe Fresh and Vince Camuto have set up shop between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and Timberland landed in the area last year, as did Uniqlo. Read More


ICSC 2012: A Walk on the Wild Side


The International Council of Shopping Centers landed in New York at the Hilton yesterday morning for Day 1 of its two-day New York National Conferences. Keynote addresses were made, palms were greased and rubbery chicken was endured, as attendees shuffled between booths set up by retailers and brokerage firms ranging from A&G Realty Partners to Zinburger Frozen Yogurt.

After the jump, The Commercial Observer’s Billy Gray joins, and attempts to stay above, the fray.
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Mortgage Beat

Brixmor Obtains $90 million Mortgage on Three Shopping Centers

Shoppes at Cinnaminson

Blackstone Group’s Brixmor, the second-largest owner of U.S. neighborhood shopping centers, has obtained a $90 million mortgage from Goldman Sachs Mortgage Company on three malls located in New Jersey, California and Illinois.

The 330,000-square-foot Shoppes at Cinnaminson, in Riverton, N.J., is 86 percent occupied with tenants such as Shoprite, Ross Dress for Less and Burlington. It was refinanced with a mortgage loan of $31.3 million. Read More


The Heart of Manhattan: Why Midtown is Starting to Make Sense, Again

Midtown Manhattan

Midtown is starting to matter again.

At least that’s the view to take from commercial real estate deals like Japanese financial firm Nomura Holding’s $60-per-square-foot, 20-year lease for a plush 47-story headquarters at 825 Eighth Avenue.

The arrival of a Japanese multinational at the Worldwide Plaza property embodies the roller-coaster ride of the Midtown office market over the past five years. It was bought by Harry Macklowe for $1.7 billion in 2007, only to be sold at a 60 percent discount two years later in a fire sale that saw George Comfort & Sons snatch it up for $600 million in 2009 when the building was half vacant. Read More

Retail Lease Beat

UPDATE: Nordstrom Rack Eyeing 1095 Sixth Avenue

1095 Avenue of the Americas (photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield)

Nordstrom Rack is reportedly in talks to snap up the 36,000 square foot Bryant Park retail space that is currently housing an NFL pop-up store.

The retail space at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, an office tower owned by the Blackstone Group, has been used as a pop-up store by Dylan’s Candy Bar and now the NFL, which is occupying the space in part to countdown its upcoming NFL Draft.  Read More


NFL Commits to Month-long Bryant Park Pop-Up Space

1095 Avenue of the Americas (photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield)

The National Football League has tackled a 36,000 square foot pop-up store at 1095 Avenue of the Americas in time for its upcoming 2012 NFL Draft.

The space will be part “experience” and part retail, according to those close to the deal. From April 2 to April 30th, football fans will be able to purchase merchandise from NFL licensees like Nike, New Era, Under Armour, Wilson, and others.  Read More