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

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

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

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.

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City Parks

McCarren Park Reopens Sans ‘Hipster Lake’

A flooded McCarren Park (Credit:

Earlier this year a giant murky puddle at Brooklyn’s McCarren Park was being affectionately referred to as “Hipster Lake.”

Nearly half a year and $930,000 later, Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents must say goodbye to the oft-flooded section of the park between Bedford and Driggs avenues.

The park reopened yesterday, with newly carved pathways, drains designed to Read More

concrete thoughts

Brooklyn Fire: The Borough’s Cultural Renaissance Began a Decade Ago, But in 2013, Values Finally Catching Up


The Brooklyn commercial real estate market is on fire.

Demand for properties in the borough is at an all-time high, and many neighborhoods in Brooklyn are rivaling some Manhattan neighborhoods in terms of value and desirability. Today, many young people moving to New York City are choosing Brooklyn over Manhattan, and their motivation is not simply based on affordability. For teenagers and those in their 20s who live in Manhattan, partying in their own borough is passé. They want to go to Brooklyn, which is now widely considered the hipper of the two boroughs. 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

Lease Beat

Meatball Shop Set to Open on the Upper East Side

Courtesy of Immaculate Infatuation

The popular New York-based restaurant chain Meatball Shop is set to open a new location in Manhattan.

The new restaurant located at 1462 Second Avenue will become the fifth location in the city. The space was previously occupied by a hardware store and features 2,000 square feet of open space divided between the basement and Read More

Lease Beat

Pinkberry’s Frozen Yogurt Hits Dumbo

Courtesy of NYTimes

The purveyor of low-calorie frozen yogurt, Pinkberry, is set to open its second Brooklyn location in Dumbo.

Pinkberry will serve its light and tarty yogurt at a 1,000-square-foot space in the 55 Washington Street building at 117 Front Street. The area, nestled between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge, is a few minutes away from the Read More

Lease Beat

Skate Shoe Designer SUPRA Expands to BK

Courtesy of Beat Box

The Southern California-based footwear designer Supra known for their unique skate shoes has inked a deal for a new location in Brooklyn.

The footwear designer and retailer will open its second New York City location – the first operating out of 4 Prince Street in trendy SoHo – in Beorum Hill at 288 Atlantic Avenue.

The Read More

Discounts Galore! Century 21 May Bring Bargains to Fulton Mall

Shiny new sales. (Brownstoner)

If the Fulton Mall is being transformed, it is only so much. The strip is being glammed up, stocked with major national retailers, at the cost of the mom and pops who have called the mall home for decades.

Still, things are not changing so much. As previously, pretentiously noted, Smith Street it ain’t, nor is it going to be. This is still a discount strip. From H&M to Target, the Gap to the almost-Filene’s, the newcomers have been far from high end—not counting the hamburgers. For further proof of the trend toward the same, welcome Century 21 to the neighborhood. Read More