Market Reports

Report: Investment Sales on Pace to Break Record

Sales totals

Almost 1,100 investment sales in the third quarter of the year netted a collective $11.3 billion in New York City, adding up to a total of $39.1 billion for the year so far as 2014’s sales totals eclipse those of 2013 with one quarter still remaining, according to a quarterly report released today by Massey Knakal Realty Services.

Even though this quarter’s volume and sales figures represent smaller sums than the last quarter’s, the breakneck pace would equal a robust $63 billion for the year if the sales keep up through the fourth quarter, said Massey Knakal Chairman Bob Knakal. Read More

Sales Beat

CRE Partnership Closes on Future Dream Hotel

560 Seventh Avenue

Developer Soho Properties, MHP Real Estate Services and international hotelier Hampshire Hotels have officially acquired 560 Seventh Avenue, formerly occupied by the Parsons School of Design and home to the Bravo reality series Project Runway.

The development project, valued in excess of $300 million, will make way for the creation of a new hotel and retail property at the corner of 40nd Street and Seventh Avenue, featuring a Dream Hotel and 20,000 square feet of destination retail. Read More

Brooklyn Issue

South Brooklyn’s Time to Shine

The sun sets over the Coney Island Boardwalk. (Credit: New York Habitat)

South Brooklyn’s waterfront neighborhoods have long fostered considerable charm and affluence despite being overshadowed by the explosion of “brownstone Brooklyn,” Williamsburg and Bushwick.

A few isolated incidents—take the 2011 Brighton Beach boardwalk shooting—and Superstorm Sandy didn’t help with image improvement, but recent developments point to South Brooklyn’s waterfront communities as the next Kings County neighborhoods to catch fire.

Read More

Sales Beat

Massey Knakal Arranges $78 M. South Brooklyn Sale

An aerial view of Brooklyn's Riegalmann Boardwalk

Massey Knakal has arranged the sale of a portfolio of eight buildings within a three-mile stretch of the Brighton Beach, Sheepshead Bay, and Gravesend neighborhoods in Brooklyn for $78 million.

The portfolio includes Manhattan Beach Estates, a beach front-property at the end of Riegelmann Boardwalk on the eastern edge of Brighton Beach.  

Read More

Standing Tall

The City’s Tallest Building, at Hudson Yards?

Hudson Spire - 435 10th

The real estate industry sat wide-eyed in anticipation of the ruling by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat in November that officially named 1 World Trade Center the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, beating out Chicago’s Willis Tower

But in the not too distant future the gleaming new tower could have competition in its own backyard – Hudson Yards, that is – as Massey Knakal is exclusively marketing the sale of a development site that it believes could spawn what the firm has dubbed “The Hudson Spire,” an 1,800-foot-tall super-skyscraper.  

Read More

Sales Beat

Manganaro’s on its Way Out Following $16 M. Deal


The storied The seller of the five-story, mixed-use buildings at 484 Ninth Avenue and 492-494 Ninth Avenue, which owns the Manganaro’s, will vacate that retail space, and the new owner, described only as an “opportunistic buyer,” will likely redevelop the century-old properties, sources said.

The Manganaro’s sub shop remained in place after a reported family spat led to the closing Read More


New Columnists, More Opinions, Now!

If you hadn’t already noticed, The Commercial Observer late last night added seven new columnists to its already formidable roster of real estate thought leaders.

Indeed, along with veteran prognosticators Robert Knakal, Sam Chandan, Richard Persichetti and Robert Sammons (back from a short hiatus), we’re now happy to welcome David Greene, Christopher Havens, Barry LePatner, Kenneth McCarthy, J.D. Parker, Joshua Siegelman and Scott Spector. Find web-exclusive columns along the right rail of our website every week. Read More

Sales Beat

Massey Knakal Sells $49 M. East Village Portfolio

195 and 199-203 East 4th Street

Massey Knakal has arranged the $49 million sale of seven-property portfolio spread along a single street in the East Village, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The five and six-story buildings at 118, 120-22, 195, 199, 201 and 203 East 4th Street make up a combined 53,770 square feet across 115 units, with 175 feet of frontage and one retail space (at 195 East 4th).

“Demand to own multifamily properties in the East Village is extremely high as rents continue to surge and vacancy in the neighborhood is below 1 percent,” said Massey Knakal’s John Ciraulo, who exclusively represented the seller with Craig Waggner, James Nelson, Michael DeCheser and Bob Knakal, adding that the “purchaser continued their recent buying spree” in the neighborhood. Read More

Sales Beat

Ashkenazy Investments Pays $6 M. for Yeshiva Retail Property


Yeshiva University has sold off the final lot of a building portfolio that it received as a gift then aggressively marketed, pulling in $2 million more than the original asking price and demonstrating the heavy demand for retail in the Lower East Side.

The Commercial Observer has learned that Ben Ashkenazy of Ashkenazy Investments paid $6 million for the corner retail building at 156-164 Delancey Street, on the northwest corner of Delancey Street and Clinton Street, which was originally on the market by for $3.95 million.

The building currently consists of six commercial units, five of which are occupied with leases that expire between 2016 and 2021, and it was marketed based on its redevelopment potential.

“Retail properties like this are in extraordinarily high demand today,” said Massey Knakal Chairman Bob Knakal, who exclusively handled the transaction with Michael DeCheser. Read More

Cover Story

Long Island City’s Renaissance

2012-12-07 V001 sm

Miami native Rick Rosa stuffed a few bags with his belongings in 1999 and headed for New York City.

Though not the postcard image he envisioned, he stumbled upon the industrial waterfront neighborhood of Long Island City, where he found an affordable pad, close to Manhattan, with a yard for his dog, Benny.

“The neighborhood Read More

Sales Beat

Massey Knakal Arranges $87.5 M. Sale On Behalf of Yeshiva University

Entryway at 920 Broadway

Massey Knakal has sold a portfolio of three office buildings on behalf of Yeshiva University for $87.5 million, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The 16-story, pre-war office building at 920 Broadway – in Midtown South’s Flatiron District – has roughly 110,000 rentable square feet and accounted for $58.5 million of the transaction.  It features 96 feet of footage on Broadway and 74 feet along East 21st Street and the corner building is zoned for office and residential development.

The 12-story block-through office building at 9 East 38th Street in the heart of Midtown has about 94,000 rentable square feet, with 47.5 feet of frontage along East 38th Street and 50 feet of frontage on East 39th Street.  A three story, 25-foot-wide adjunct building provides half of the frontage along 39th Street, with the two buildings netting the remaining $29 million of the transaction. Read More

Sales Beat

TIAA-CREF Pays $60M for 1511 Third Avenue

1511 Third Avenue

TIAA-CREF has purchased 1511 Third Avenue on the Upper East Side from Related Companies for $60 million, sources tell The Commercial Observer.

The 60,000-square-foot property is a four-story landmarked building, one block south of East 86th Street, the main retail artery in the neighborhood. Read More

Sales Beat

SL Green, Chinese Government, Follow Hipsters to Williamsburg

250 Bedford Avenue

First it was the hipsters.  Then it was China.  And now the city’s largest office landlord, SL Green Realty Corp., is finally seeing promise in the residential development of Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The real estate investment trust and commercial real estate giant announced this morning that it has agreed to purchase a newly completed, vacant residential building in the hip-turned-posh Brooklyn neighborhood — the company’s first foray into Brooklyn’s residential market.

Information in a prepared statement sent by the company suggests that the address is 250 Bedford Avenue, though it was not specified. Read More