It was 2013, and Bruce Eichner was standing in the dimly lit hallway of a residential building on East 23rd Street begging the owner for his air rights.
“He would not return a phone call or an email for five months,” said Mr. Eichner, the founder and chairman of The Continuum Company, who needed the air rights for his ambitious residential project at 45 East 22nd Street near Madison Square Park (at a planned 65 stories, it will be the tallest residential tower in Gramercy). “I’m sitting in my office and I was like, ‘screw this.’ I got out of my office, went down, rang the doorbell.”
Buoyed by the area’s burgeoning tech scene and growing residential market, the Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District this morning presented its third annual report to a room of brokers and indicated available commercial space in the district is sparse.
With more than 200 commercial office buildings offering upwards of 22 million square feet of rentable space, Flatiron’s overall vacancy rate sits at just 6.96 percent, with only 1.55 million square feet available for lease. The average price per square foot of that space hovers just below $50 at $49.10.
With a number of projects in the pipeline, Bruce Eichner is planning a dramatic comeback to New York real estate with an 80/20 residential project at the Harlem Park site he agreed to acquire last week.
Mr. Eichner is in the midst of an architectural competition for the planned development at 1800 Park Avenue and 125th Street, The Commercial Observer has learned.
“He is going to do something creative with the building,” Geoffrey Newman, senior managing director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, said of the project. “For a rental perspective, I think it’s going to be a spectacular building.”
Vornado Realty Trust has sold the Harlem Park site at 1800 Park Avenue to Bruce Eichner and Continuum Company, the New York Post reported.
Mr. Eichner is planning to develop a 596,000-square-foot 80/20 residential building at the site which would include street-level retail, a garage and 600 apartment units, 200 of which would be affordable housing, according to the report.
The Mortgage Observer spoke to Kramer Levin partner Jay Neveloff this month. Mr. Neveloff, a 24-year veteran at the firm, told us what he’s hearing from his wide range of clients following November’s elections and what many of those clients are busiest doing with the end of the year fast approaching.
When the credit crisis hit and the real estate market all but collapsed, news of disgraced developers became commonplace, their tales more often than not layered with intrigue.
Take Kent Swig, who, after being divorced by his wife, filed an affidavit in May responding to a lawsuit filed by his ex-father-in-law, industry luminary Harry Macklowe, arguing that Mr. Macklowe embarked on a “vendetta” aimed at “starving” him of every last penny.
But as the downfalls of real estate tycoons like Mr. Macklowe, Shaya Boymelgreen, Bruce Eichner and Larry Gluck stack up like so many new developments across Manhattan’s skyline, analysts and the city’s landlords themselves have begun to wonder aloud if there’s a limit to how much real estate can be accumulated.
“A developer’s function is to develop property, and sometimes they develop and develop until they can’t develop anymore,” said appraiser Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc., a real estate appraisal and consulting firm based in New York City. “Where people fell short was that the market was more powerful than them … the market is brutal, and it has no compassion.”
Ever since the credit crisis hit and the real estate market collapsed, the news has been filled with disgraced developers–including in these very pages. Yet for every plucked chicken, there seems to be an equal number of phoenixes who, year after year, decade after decade, return from the construction graveyard to build again. (The Observer, Read More
One Madison Park has been listing for more than a year now, the 50-story tower perched over Madison Square serving as one of the most visible victims of the real estate boom on New York’s skyline. Last month, one of the building’s few buyers, Bruce Eichner, took a $40 million stake in the Read More