Charles Cohen is in the business of creating. As the president and chief executive officer of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation, Mr. Cohen oversees a portfolio of properties and design centers in New York, Florida, Texas and California. He also executive produced the Academy Award-winning Frozen River and runs Cohen Media Group, a distributor and producer of foreign and independent films. Mr. Cohen’s father, Sherman Cohen, the developer who built CBRC into a powerhouse with his two brothers, died late last month at 91. And while Mr. Cohen politely declined to answer direct questions about his father, he did speak to The Commercial Observer about his legacy when discussing recent developments at the firm and in New York real estate. Mr. Cohen also spoke enthusiastically about the film industry and this year’s crop of new movies, which will be in the national spotlight when the Academy Awards airs this Sunday.
The Commercial Observer: In 2011, you told The Commercial Observer that you and the rest of the real estate industry were moving at 25 miles per hour. What was the speed in 2012?
Mr. Cohen: In New York, we’re going twice as fast as last year, but not fast enough.
Scott Rechler’s RXR Realty has signed a 99-year triple-net lease at British department store tycoon Mohamed Al Faye’s 75 Rockefeller Plaza in Midtown Manhattan, where it plans to undertake a major capital improvement to reposition the building.
The 33-story building will be fully vacated by Time Warner Cable in 2014, leaving behind roughly 630,000 square feet of rentable area, and the renovations will include a new lobby and a restoration of its landmarked, classic limestone façade, executives at RXR said.
Cushman & Wakefield has been appointed by RXR Realty as the exclusive leasing agent for roughly 100,000 square feet being vacated by Pearson at 1330 Avenue of the Americas, where ownership recently completed a capital improvement program and a rare signage opportunity awaits a prospective anchor tenant.
Floors 7 through 10, 14, 16 and 17 will come online in the 40-story trophy building in January 2014, after Pearson vacates the space, freeing up four sides of illuminated signage atop the building (the signage is currently branded “FT” for Pearson-owned Financial Times) for the new tenancy to broadcast its image into the Manhattan skyline.
“We want it to be the right image for the right company, and one that takes a meaningful presence in the building,” said William Elder, leasing director with RXR Realty. “This is a very rare opportunity that allows for top of building signage just outside of Times Square.
It’s described by real estate wheelers and dealers as “the industry’s only must-attend event.” A crippling bout with a stomach virus was the only thing that once kept a 25-year veteran of the affair away. At least one pillar of the brokerage community wants the whole thing disbanded.
The Real Estate Board of New York’s Annual Banquet is back this week at the New York Hilton’s Grand Ballroom, its 117th edition. Food will be served and ignored. Booze will flow and attention will be paid. Award recipients will make acceptance speeches drowned out by a cacophonous crowd that makes the old Yankee Stadium’s bleacher creatures look reserved.
The first Real Estate Board of New York (then the Real Estate Board of Brokers) gala took place on May 12, 1897, at the since-destroyed Marlborough Hotel on Broadway between 36th and 37th Streets. The dinner started with littleneck clams and ended with “fancy ice cream” for the evening’s 50 assembled members and guests.
The luxury home fragrance manufacturing company Nest Fragrances will move their US headquarters from 601 West 26th Street to Charles Cohen‘s 3 East 54th Street. The new office will span 15,229 square feet on the fifth floor of the building.
Glenn Markman first began to pay attention to Brooklyn long before there was a Barclays Center to crystallize the borough’s rise.
Like so many success stories in real estate, buying in early was key.
Having done deals in Brooklyn for 20 years, Mr. Markman by now is known as an expert in office leasing in the borough, though he is also prolific in Manhattan. From his résumé, there’s no mistaking his prominence as a Brooklyn dealmaker.
In 2008, he represented Spike Lee in finding a Dumbo office for the film director’s advertising company, Spike DDB.
Earlier this year, when the Brooklyn Nets decided to relocate the team’s executive offices from New Jersey to be closer to the new Barclays arena, Mr. Markman, who is a leasing executive at Cushman & Wakefield, led a C&W team that brought the Nets into 35,000 square feet at 15 MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn.
Landlord Charles Cohen is gearing up for vacancy at 622 Third Avenue.
The nearly 900,000-square-foot office tower has about 200,000 square feet of space that Mr. Cohen says is soon set to come available as several leases at the property expire.
There was a time when it seemed certain 11 Times Square would command some of the highest rents in city.
The building, which was developed by a venture between SJP Properties and its equity partner Prudential, was finished in 2010. As one of the newest buildings in Midtown, it is widely considered state-of-the-art, with many of the bells and whistles that tenants are supposed to be willing to pay a premium for, such as towering ceiling heights, LEED-certified efficient systems, a floor-to-ceiling glass façade that offers prodigious light and few structural columns to impede the efficiency of its spaces.
Entering the market at a tough juncture during the recession, SJP Properties nonetheless appeared to take a hard line on rents, and rightfully so: the building cost more than $1 billion to develop. According to several sources familiar with the property and its leasing history, the landlord held fast to projections it had set before the downturn—rents in the $80s per square foot and beyond.
For years 60 Wall Street was the cloistered home of institutional giants.
JP Morgan Chase built the tower in the late 1980s and occupied it through the 1990s. Then in the early 2000s Deutsche Bank acquired the building and it too filled the property’s entire 1.6 million square feet with its operations.
Because of its function solely as a large headquarters space to single users since its inception, 60 Wall Street has been a building unfamiliar to tenants and leasing brokers.
agency leasingLease Beat
A Cushman & Wakefield team led by executives Bruce Mosler and Andrew Peretz has picked up the leasing agency assignment for 60 Wall Street The Commercial Observer has learned.
The roughly 1.6 million square foot office tower is owned by the real estate investment company Paramount Group, which purchased the building in 2007 for a whopping $1.2 billion.
It didn’t take long for Jeff Rosenblatt to sense something awry in the house of Kent Swig.
It was 2009 and Mr. Swig, at the time a large landlord in the city, had purchased the real estate services company Helmsley-Spear a year earlier. In the months after his big acquisition of the legendary brokerage firm, Mr. Swig had offered Mr. Rosenblatt a senior position managing its leasing operations.
Abbott Capital Management, a private equity firm, has inked a 10-year lease to take new office space at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, it was announced Tuesday.
The firm will be taking a 34,709-square-foot space on the ninth floor at 1290 Avenue of the Americas, which is managed by Vornado.
John Thompson, senior director of JRT Realty, represented Abbott Capital Management in the lease deal. Franklin Speyer, Amy Fox, Michael Nahmias and Bruce Mosler, all of Cushman & Wakefield represented Vornado in the deal.
In an exclusive conversation with The Commercial Observer, Cushman & Wakefield’s CEO Glenn Rufrano and Bruce Mosler, a top leasing executive at the company, revealed that Mr. Mosler will take on a greater role overseeing global dealmaking at the firm.
Mr. Mosler is C&W’s chairman of global brokerage and his title will not change, but Mr. Rufrano said he will help manage multinational accounts to coordinate which personnel are engaged in servicing such clients and to make sure the company’s various service lines such as property and project management, consulting and appraisal are being appropriately engaged where necessary.
Xerox is taking about 100,000 square feet at 485 Lexington Avenue several sources have told The Commercial Observer.
The printer and photo-copying equipment and services company will sublease the space, the building’s entire 10th, 16th and 17th floors, from Citibank for seven years, the remainder of Citibank’s term in the over-900,000-square-foot building, which is owned by SL Green .
Leasing activity in the first half of 2012 was, by all accounts, a shadow of last year.
About 11.1 million square feet was leased, substantially down from the 17.6 million square feet leased during the first six months of 2011, according to data collected by the real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield.