Mortgage Observer

Workforce January 2014

Work Force

Blackstone Mortgage Trust has named Paul Quinlan chief financial officer, replacing Geoffrey Jervis, who resigned to pursue other opportunities. 

Mr. Quinlan, who most recently worked as head of financial planning and business development at Blackstone, will also now serve as CFO for the firm’s real estate debt strategies division. 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

Lease Beat

Cohen & Steers Re-Ups for 87,000 Square Feet at 280 Park Avenue

280 Park Avenue (photo courtesy of Property Shark)

Cohen & Steers, a investment portfolio management firm that invests in global real estate securities and large cap value stocks, among other securities, has renewed its lease for 87,000 square feet for three floors at 280 Park Avenue, The Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm, which is currently on the 10th, 19th and 20th floors in the building, has extended its lease for 10 years, according to a person familiar with the deal. Asking rent for the building is in the low $100s-a-square-foot.

SL Green Realty Corp and Vornado Realty Trust partnered together in 2011 to assume $400 million in debt for the 31-story office building. Representatives for both firms worked on the deal in-house. Read More

Buying Debt

Vornado, SL Green to Hold Serious Debt on Troubled 280 Park

Vornado and SL Green, two of New York’s biggest REITs, have agreed to buy $400 million in debt from Broadway Partners and Investcorp on the 1.2 million-square-foot complex at 280 Park Avenue.

Broadway and Investcorp bought the building for $1.2 billion in 2007, in one of the most expensive building purchases that heady year. In more recent news, the Read More

JLL Nabs Broadway Director

Jones Lang LaSalle has hired longtime Broadway Partners managing director Gregory Green as president of the firm’s National Agency Leasing group. Mr. Green, 48, will be based out of Jones Lang LaSalle’s New York office and will work with landlords in the tristate region and nationally, according to a release.

Mr. Green, Read More

Daily News to HQ: Drop Dead?

Staff writers at Mort Zuckerman’s New York Daily News may no longer have to work in one of the ugliest office buildings to blight New York’s, or any city’s, streetscape. The Daily News has hired brokerage Cushman & Wakefield to look for new office space. Rumor has it that the paper wants offices Read More

Payment Due! Class A Midtown Loans

As conditions in Manhattan’s commercial market grow grimmer, one question continues to dog investors: Where’s the debt and how can I break me off a piece?

The Manhattan office market dropped 22.9 percent between the second quarters of 2008 and 2009, according to the Moody’s/REAL Commercial Property Price September Indices, compared to 30.1 percent regionally Read More