The Plan

The Plan: New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge

New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.

As Brooklyn continues to become the destination of choice for New York’s 56.4 million annual visitors, there has been unprecedented demand for hotel space in the borough. With 667 rooms, the 27-story New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge is Kings County’s largest hotel. The Downtown Brooklyn chain, which sits at 333 Adams Street, opened in 1998 and doubled its size in a 2006 expansion. However, in order to remain competitive, its owners, Muss Development, Marriott International and Homefed Corporation, felt that it needed to be reconfigured.

“We needed to reposition it as the leader in Brooklyn,” said Jeff Kay, the chief operating officer of Muss Development, which built the property. “We consider ourselves at the center of Downtown Brooklyn.” Read More

Brooklyn Issue

Vice’s Grip on Williamsburg Reflects Changes in Gentrifying Neighborhood

49 South Second Street

Too many employees needing more space in the right neighborhood is a perpetual New York commercial real estate conundrum. Perhaps no tale illustrates this quandary in 21st century Brooklyn quite like media powerhouse Vice’s relocation to its new office space on Williamsburg’s south side.

Already based in Williamsburg, Vice had been searching for space in the ballpark of 50,000 square feet for 18 months, and its quest was becoming dire. Because of its branding strategy and target demographic, Vice was unlikely to find a space meeting its needs in the marble tiled buildings of Madison Avenue or the Financial District’s steel skyscrapers. Brooklyn, and more specifically Williamsburg, would be a far better fit for the international media company that has been called “basically a millennial whisperer.” Read More

Sammons Says

A Building Grows in Brooklyn

Okay, I admit the title is a bit misleading, but hopefully it got your attention. The reality is that no major office building construction is underway in “greater” downtown Brooklyn right now. Residential construction is a completely different story, of course, but I’m not even going there this week.

Newmark Grubb Knight Frank currently tracks Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Are Brooklyn Artist Communes a Thing of the Past?

One of the uber-Brooklyn real estate structures is the creative ‘commune’, where artists, performers and others pool their resources to build small arts communities. This archetype is dying out as real estate becomes much more expensive, building regulations are enforced and stratospheric residential values remove huge amounts of commercial space from the inventory.

While there Read More

Lease Beat

Brooklyn Denim Co. Opens Second Location

Courtesy of KDA

Brooklyn Denim Co. is opening a new location in Greenpoint.

The denim retailer will take a 5,700-square-foot space at 39 Norman Avenue, adding a second shop to the original location at 85 North 3rd Street in Williamsburg. The retailer, which sells about two dozen higher end brands, has been rapidly growing in recent years. Read More

Brooklyn Beat

The Crown Heights Retail Affair

Crown Heights has had the fastest retail gentrification that observers have seen in Brooklyn since Williamsburg back in its heyday.

With over 50 storefronts going upscale in the last three years, short term leases and low rents are giving way to $60 per SF stores and what I call ‘brunchification’.

Bars started the roll, Franklin Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Brooklyn as a Borough of Families

Institutional investors, real estate investment trusts, large national development firms—often based in Manhattan—are now quite active in Brooklyn, after years of borough-based families dominating the scene.

Two years ago the Manhattan big boys were ignoring efforts to join the rush—now they all want in.

The last three decades of the Brooklyn’s great leap forward was Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Why Brooklyn Real Estate Is So Hot

I am asked weekly why Brooklyn is so hot.

The majority of investors, small office tenants, townhouse buyers and people seeking to start restaurants can’t find space now for love or money or both. Residential tenants are paying record rents, some office deals are hitting $50 per square foot, and land prices are skyrocketing.

There Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Of Burgers and Theater Districts

Earlier this year, the Five Guys shop at Fulton and Flatbush, paying $125 per square foot, closed due to insufficient business. Across the street from a top-grossing McDonald’s, Five Guys couldn’t make it. At nearly the same moment, Shake Shack made a deal for $200 per square foot across from Barclays Arena.

What will we Read More

Food For Thought

The Manhattanization of Williamsburg

Manhattan concepts and national tenants have finally realized what hipsters have known all along: Williamsburg is cool.

It’s not that operators didn’t notice Williamsburg before, but, as Manhattan became fully developed, these industrial plots across the river became attractive investment opportunities with minimal travel time to the main city (only one stop on the L). Read More

2013 Owners Magazine

No Sleep Till Brooklyn


When the Jehovah’s Witnesses began putting its portfolio of 35 buildings on the block in 2004, even the most seasoned real estate observer couldn’t have predicted that one of the winning bidders of a sprawling six-building complex in Dumbo would be Aby Rosen.

Known primarily as the owner of the Seagram Building and Lever House, two of the most iconic examples of mid-century modernism in Manhattan, Mr. Rosen and RFR Realty seemed unlikely suitors for a 1.2 million-square-foot compound in Brooklyn.

But similar to his cultivation of private equity and hedge fund tenants prior to the economic collapse, Mr. Rosen once again is tapping into New York City’s most exciting new business community–the rapidly expanding tech sector in Brooklyn. Read More

Wired City

Brooklyn’s Fulton Street Gets Free Wi-Fi


Residents and visitors strolling along Brooklyn’s Fulton Street will have no problem connecting to the internet. In a partnership between the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Fulton Area Business Alliance, 1.2 miles of Fulton street – about 26 blocks, will have Wi-Fi for free and open to the public. The service will start at Rockwell place extending to Classon Avenue. It also covers BAM’s cultural district in the area.

Read More

Brooklyn Beat

Watch These Brooklyn Bellweather Neighborhoods

One of my pet phrases for northern Brooklynites is ‘south of the park,’ referring to the area of Brooklyn that is south of Prospect Park.

Brooklyn is huge, which is sometimes forgotten in the cool buzz of the north − Dumbo, Williamsburg, Bushwick.

So watch Flatbush, Sunset Park and Crown Heights this fall.

Read More

Atlantic Yards

Barclays Center’s First Year, By The Numbers

Jay-Z Opens Barclays Center - Show

By most measures, the Barclays Center had a very good year since opening with eight Jay-Z concerts a year ago this Saturday, including hosting MTV’s Video Music Awards last month. As the statistics show, its success as a concert venue was significant, even if audience attendance was bolstered in some part by ongoing renovations at Madison Square Garden.

While some scheduled events never came to fruition, the total number of events lagged behind several estimates, and the start-up costs were a drag on profits, the Barclays Center will get a big bump during the 2015-2016 season when the New York Islanders move in.

Norman Oder of the Atlantic Yards Report gathered and crunched the numbers for The Commercial Observer to assess the promises, projections and realities.

Read More