The Lobby

MHP Real Estate Services Names Mark Furst Senior Managing Director

Mark Furst.

MHP Real Estate Services, which owns, leases and manages roughly six-and-a-half million square feet of office space in New York City, has named Mark Furst as a senior managing director. In his new role, Mr. Furst will do tenant representation, landlord representation and leasing.

“David [Greene] and I have been talking for a number of years and I’m excited because it’s a great platform,” said Mr. Furst of his new position. “There are great people here. I had been at my former place for 16 years, and it was a great run with great people. I just wanted to go to a little bit of a smaller shop.” Read More

The Sit-Down

Peter Hennessy on the Next Step For DTZ

Peter Hennessy of DTZ.

What happens when a mid-sized, nationally renowned real estate services company gets acquired by a bigger, international real estate company?

That was the natural question that we had when it was announced late last year that the finishing touches were being put on the deal that had Cassidy Turley (the national real estate firm in question) being swallowed up by the even bigger property services firm DTZ. Read More

Cover Story, Feature

Why a Merger Wave Washed Over Manhattan CRE in 2014

TOP DOGS: Savills Studley’s Mitchell Steir; Massey Knakal Realty Services’ founders Paul Massey and Robert Knakal; 
and Peter Hennessy, the president of the New York Tri-State Region at Cassidy Turley (from left).

On New Year’s Eve, Cushman & Wakefield closed on its acquisition of Massey Knakal Realty Services, thereby finishing the last big commercial real estate merger in a 2014 full of them.

Other large-scale takeovers included DTZ’s acquisition of brokerage Cassidy Turley (which followed private-equity firm TPG Capital’s takeover of DTZ, a property services firm); and London-based brokerage Savills’ acquisition of New York tenant-rep brokerage Studley. CBRE, the city’s biggest commercial brokerage, also acquired 10 different firms worldwide, including real estate consultancy IVI International, which is based in White Plains. Read More

Mergers and Acquisitions

DTZ and Cassidy Turley Officially Merge

Tod Lickerman

Cassidy Turley and DTZ are now operating as a single global firm, following the completion of TPG Capital’s acquisition of Cassidy Turley on Dec. 31, according to a press release issued by DTZ today.

“The combination of our two companies under new ownership has immediately enhanced our ability to meet our clients’ needs with speed, efficiency and flexibility—service qualities that are unique among global firms our size,” said Tod Lickerman, who is now serving as the global chief executive officer of the merged company. “The new DTZ combines the capabilities of a world-class firm with the client experience of a smaller, more nimble and more tenacious organization.” Mr. Lickerman was the CEO of DTZ prior to the merger. Read More

Lease Beat

Steinway, Durst Strike Closing Note in Midtown [Updated]

1133 Avenue of the Americas

The Durst Organization and 163-year-old piano makers Steinway & Sons have finalized the 15-year, 40,501-square-foot deal for a new ground-floor showroom and retail space and 33rd floor offices at 1133 Avenue of the Americas, Durst and Cassidy Turley announced yesterday.

Steinway moved out of its longtime building at 109 West 57th Street before the end of the year and had been near signing the deal with Durst this fall, as The New York Times reported. The company, which sold the building last year just before the Paulson & Co. hedge fund bought the company itself, will operate a pop-up at another Durst property starting the week of Jan. 5 while architect Annabelle Selldorf builds out its new space, Durst officials said. Read More

Lease Beat

Venture Capital Firm to Venture One Block North

350 Madison

Energy venture capital firm Braemar Energy Ventures will move its New York City offices about one block north to RFR Realty‘s 350 Madison Avenue through a new seven-year lease, Commercial Observer has learned.

The firm currently occupies space on the 18th floor of 340 Madison Avenue, but it will relocate to a 7,178-square-foot space on the 23rd floor of the Midtown East property that RFR purchased for $261.5 million last year. Read More


Hightower & Mighty: Real Estate Leasing Catches up with the 21st Century

Hightower co-founders Donald Desantis, Brandon Weber and Niall Smart (from left).

While new technology is constantly transforming existing industries, certain sectors are just a little less eager and slower to adapt than others.

In the real estate industry, some property managers were long resistant to change, even though their jobs revolve around keeping track of intricate data, such as lease dates, vacancies and leasable square footage. Often, they seek to turn the flood of information into trend charts and easy-to-follow patterns. Until recently, much of this record keeping was handled through Excel and, even more shockingly, on paper (one step above the caveman’s drawing)! Now, real estate professionals are finally getting some serious new tech tools, complete with apps and customized interfaces, to handle the management process. Read More

Lease Beat

Private Equity Firm Relocates in Midtown East

477 Madison Avenue

Private equity firm First Atlantic Capital has moved roughly five blocks south through a five-year, 5,278-square-feet lease on the third floor at a JAB Madison Holdings building in Midtown East, Commercial Observer has learned.

The company, which relocated from 135 East 57th Street to 477 Madison Avenue on Oct. 1, joins three other new tenants at the 24-story building. The four companies are leasing a collective 19,184 square feet of pre-built space, which they assumed in the past six months on floors 3 and 23, Cassidy Turley officials said. Read More

Lease Beat

Accounting Firm to Relocate to Madison Avenue

485 Madison Avenue

Certified public accounting and advisory firm Janover LLC will relocate and expand its Manhattan footprint in January 2015 through a 10-year, 14,101-square-foot lease at Jack Resnick & Sons485 Madison AvenueCommercial Observer has learned.

The company with over 100 employees and an additional office in Garden City, Long Island will move its Manhattan office three blocks west from 805 Third Avenue into a full-floor space on the ninth story of the building between East 51st and East 52nd Streets, said Harry Krausman, a principal at Cassidy Turley. Read More

Stat of the Week

Stat of the Week: $65.50 Per Square Foot

Midtown South Available Supply

Through three quarters this year, healthy market fundamentals continue and asking rents remain on the rise across all markets in Manhattan real estate. Despite rental increases being slightly off the pace of 2013—overall Manhattan asking rents increased only 4.5 percent through September this year compared to 6.8 percent for the same time period last year—many Read More

Stat of the Week

Stat of the Week: 9.4 Percent

Friends show lines and leases

This week marks the 20th anniversary of another New York-based sitcom that entertained millions of people for 10 seasons—Friends. Throughout the years, the six main characters had some very quotable lines that made me think of the current New York real estate market. So it is my duty to write a Friends-based article, because it is Read More

The Lobby

Cassidy Turley Hires Nonprofit Group Co-Leader

Janet Woods

Cassidy Turley hired an experienced broker for charities and foundations to help lead its nonprofit practice group, the company announced last week.

Janet Woods has joined Cassidy Turley as co-leader alongside David Lebenstein to play the same role she formerly served at JLL as a representative for the Girl Scouts of Greater New York, the Children’s Aid Society, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and other nonprofit clients. Read More

Lease Beat

Numerix Moves to New Space in Silicon Alley

99 Park Avenue.

Numerix, a company that develops software for risk analysis, is moving into a space in Silicon Alley previously occupied by Collective, a technology advertising firm.

When Collective vacates the building for a 58,000-square-foot spread in the old New York Times headquarters on West 43rd Street, Numerix will take over its 31,615 square feet of space at 99 Park Avenue, located between 39th and 40th Streets. The building is owned by Eastgate Realty. Read More

Lease Beat

Three Leases Signed at 30 Cooper Square

30 Cooper Square. (PropertyShark)

Three leases have been signed for a combined 45,500 square feet of space at 30 Cooper Square, according to a release issued by Cassidy Turley.

Cooper Union, a privately funded college with administrative offices in the building, renewed its lease of 26,000 square-feet of space with a term upwards of five years, according to a representative for Cassidy Turley, while two, new 10-year leases have been signed by 72andSunny Partners and S Plus, Inc. Read More

On the Market

Penthouse Office at 277 Park Ave Hits the Market

277 Park Avenue.

For the first time in half a century, the 50,000-square-foot duplex penthouse office at 277 Park Avenue is available for lease, Commercial Observer has learned.

The space, located on the 49th and 50th floors of the building, has been occupied by Continental Grain Company, which is consolidating operations and moving to the General Motors Building. Asking rent for the space is $125 per square foot and occupancy is expected for the first quarter of next year. Read More