From a Taconic Investment Partners project in Hunts Point to the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan, power in New York real estate circles has increasingly expanded from the comfortable confines of Midtown Manhattan to the fringes of all five boroughs. While large developments such as the Related Company’s Hudson Yards often dominate the conversation, Brooklyn, Queens and even the Bronx continue to grow in stature.
Long Island City is fast becoming a focal point for the real estate industry as Rockrose and other residential developers tap into the growing Queens neighborhood. In the Bronx, Taconic Investment Partners, formerly the owners of 111 Eighth Avenue, is in the process of a significant capital improvement plan at the BankNote Building on Lafayette Avenue in Hunt’s Point.
Below, a sampling of where power thrives in New York City in 2013.
Food & Drink
Restaurateur Peter Poulakakos has signed on to run the 30,000-square-foot marketplace at Brookfield’s World Financial Center, the New York Post reported yesterday.
Poulakakos is perhaps best known as operator of coffee chain Financier Patisserie but also oversees downtown restaurants Harry’s Café, Harry’s Steak, Adrienne’s Pizza Bar, Ulysses’ and Bayard’s.
“We met with everyone who has the expertise and desire to open a world class market in Manhattan and we were really blown away by Peter’s vision for marketplace,” Edward Hogan, Brookfield’s national director of retail leasing, told The Commercial Observer.
When terrorists detonated a monster bomb in the underground parking garage at the World Trade Center’s North Tower on February 26, 1993, it shook the city with seismic strength.
Six people died and 1,042 were injured in the bombing. But it came before the widespread understanding, blunt as it was, that terrorists wanted to kill Read More
Office provider Regus completed a transaction to acquire 54,991 square feet, the entire 24th floor, at 3 World Financial Center, according to Jerry Larkin, director of leasing at Brookfield. Mr. Larkin declined to discuss terms of the deal.
Regus will build out the space to their current office standards, Mr. Larkin said.
“What attracted them was obviously the numerous renovations to the center, the quality of the dining and shopping that will be coming to Brookfield Place,” Mr. Larkin added. The World Financial Center will be renamed Brookfield Place in fall 2013.
Zero Halliburton Luggage is opening a new location in Midtown.
The luggage designer will be opening a 3,900-square-foot retail location at Brookfield Properties‘ 300 Madison Avenue. The retail space is located on the corner of 42nd Street and Madison Avenue, a block away from the heavily trafficked Grand Central Terminal and Bryant Park.
As forecasters became more and more certain that a monster storm named Sandy was barreling toward Manhattan in the 48 hours leading up to its landfall on Monday, October 29, Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola lay in a hospital bed recovering from a sudden medical emergency.
But the hospital stay didn’t Read More
Year in Real Estate
FEMA spokesperson William Rukeyser described the ad-hoc, jumbled feel of the company’s impromptu space in the Forest Hills Tower like a scene from a hard-hit neighborhood, with hanging wires, antennas strapped to the ceiling, Post-It notes and sheets of paper with various instructions scattered about, and impromptu folding tables holding printers and other office equipment. Most seemed at a loss for words when assessing damages.
“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” Durst Organization spokesperson Jordan Barowitz told The Commercial Observer less than a week after the storm hit, struggling to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan.
Condé Nast, the mega-publisher behind such magazines as Vogue, The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, holds several events per month at the Lambs Club on West 44th Street, two blocks from its 4 Times Square headquarters. It’s also been known to hold events at Michael’s on 55th Street, and a host of other venues.
Now, with the company having leased over 1.1 million square feet at 1 World Trade Center and saying goodbye to its old quarters, a new posh venue for its gatherings will have to be found, all of which has brokers asking the question: will high-end dining and retail come to Manhattan’s southern tip?
Retailers are hungry for Manhattan retail space at the moment, but lower Manhattan luxury stores may take time, said Steve Rappaport, senior managing director with SINVIN Realty. For that to change, a high-end retailer may need to stake a claim early on and wait for value to grow, Mr. Rappaport said.
Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
One New York Plaza is officially open again – as of this past Saturday – following a shutdown due to tropical storm Sandy. Building owner, Brookfield Office Properties, said that the company has property, casualty and flood insurance and anticipates full coverage of losses. “The storm will have no material financial impact on the company,” the firm said as part of a release.
Hurricane Sandy caused a surge that increased ocean water levels and flooded numerous coastal areas of New York City, including the southern tip of Manhattan where One New York Plaza is located.
“Brookfield’s property operations and maintenance personnel removed all water, restored services and prepared the building for the safe return of tenants,” a Brookfield spokesperson said.
On Thursday, Nov. 1, Virgo Business Centers made 27,321 square feet of temporary, furnished office space available at 14 Penn Plaza. Companies displaced by Hurricane Sandy filed in one by one, and by the following Thursday, the space was full.
“Typically, that process takes about a year,” said Pasha Erkin, director of sales at the company. “It’s all about readiness. You could literally bring me 40 people today, and I could have the space ready tomorrow. All you have to do is walk in, flip on a switch, plug in and start working.”
In that building alone, the company took on 177 employees from displaced companies like Coronet, amfAR, Linda Decorato, Ambrose and others located on the eastern tip of Downtown and other areas hit hard by the hurricane.
Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
The list of real estate companies teaming up with the New York City Economic Development Corporation to donate free, temporary office space in the wake of Hurricane Sandy continues to grow.
The latest, The Lightstone Group, announced Friday that it will make 11,000 square feet of space available at 1407 Broadway through a city program for a period up to six months.
The West Side of Midtown has increased its presence in the commercial real estate market within the past 20 years. The market now boasts a vacancy rate below 10 percent across all assets.
“To understand this market, it’s important to view it in the context of the history of the last 25 years,” explained Mitch Arkin, an executive director at Cushman & Wakefield. “In the ’80s, the market started pushing west with the development of Carnegie Hall Tower, the Equitable Building, 787 Seventh Avenue, followed by 1585 Broadway, 1540 Broadway, 750 Seventh Avenue, Worldwide Plaza, 1745 Broadway [and] Metropolitan Tower. Those buildings all brought Eighth Avenue and Broadway north of Times Square into Midtown.”
Post-Tropical Storm Sandy
In the face of one of the worst natural disasters in the city’s history, commercial real estate landlords braced for Hurricane Sandy, employing every measure possible to hold property damage to a minimum and keep tenants safe.
But not even prophetic foresight could have allowed the city’s landlords—or New York City as a whole—to prevent much of the destruction that the mammoth storm wreaked across the five boroughs.
The road to recovery, especially in low-lying coastal areas like Staten Island, Coney Island and the Rockaways, will take months, if not years. Lower Manhattan went dark for days, with many companies largely shutting down due to power outages and salt water flooding, which is especially corrosive to mechanical equipment.
“It’s—It’s—It’s just a mess,” said Jordan Barowitz, a spokesman for the Durst Organization, who struggled to find words to describe the destruction in Lower Manhattan.
Over the course of the next three years, lower Manhattan will experience a leasing anomaly: as new and more-efficient office space hits the market,
supply and rental rates are expected to escalate simultaneously.
For real estate analysts, who have estimated that vacancy rates could skyrocket to as high as 17.5 percent by 2015, the prospect of more product is exciting, if a bit unnerving.
As for right now, Ken McCarthy, a senior economist at Cushman & Wakefield, reviewed lower Manhattan’s third-quarter stats with The Commercial Observer and discussed which data points could affect the short-term health of the market that Silverstein Properties’ 1 World Trade Center and Brookfield Properties’ World Financial Center both call home.
Brookfield Properties will rename the eight million-square-foot office complex it owns in Lower Manhattan several sources familiar with the company’s plans say.
What is known currently as the World Financial Center will become Brookfield Place under the plan, in what appears to be an effort to distance the property’s image as a home predominantly for financial tenants at a time when leasing demand from that sector has been weak.