Whodunnits

Newmark, Grubb Knight Frank… But What About Ellis: A BGC Mystery

Hal Ellis. (Courtesy San Francisco Chronicle)

Grubb & Ellis was purchased out of bankruptcy by BGC Partners last week and merged with another brokerage firm, Newmark Knight Frank. The integrated entity, which many industry experts say will become a new power in the real estate services industry, is being called Newmark Grubb Knight Frank.

Although from a branding standpoint brokers at Grubb & Ellis said they appreciate BGC’s decision to retain some portion of the company’s identity in the new moniker, they claim it is an ode to a partner long forgotten. Read More

Lease Beat

'Queen of Skyscrapers' tapped to sell 10 East 53rd Street; Goes to Halloween Party Dressed as Self

Queen of Skyscrapers, Meet the Crown Jewel. (Courtesy Property Shark)

The owners of 10 East 53rd Street have tapped CB Richard Ellis‘ “Queen of the Skyscrapers” to find a buyer for the “hidden gem” of a midtown office building, which already counts HarperCollins Publishers as a tenant.

Owner New Millenium Estates will rely on Darcy Stacom, a vice chairman at CBRE, to sell the building.

Ms. Stacom thinks she can find a new owner who will transform the 37-story, 388,000-square-foot asset into “the jewel box it can be.” Read More

Lease of the Week

Yelp is on the Way!

Yelp is on the way.

Right from the gate, the Invesco Real Estate-Kaufman Organization partnership behind 100-104 Fifth Avenue followed a simple motto: Go big on tech or go home.

Since acquiring the building in January 2011, the Kaufman Organization has leased 100,000 square feet to new tech tenants, including 45,000 square feet to Apple’s iAd mobile advertising unit.

“We’ve been on a tear,” said Grant Greenspan, a principal at the Kaufman Organization. Read More

The Sit-Down

Jones Lang LaSalle's Tristate President on Big Poaches and Big Moves

Peter Riguardi and Jones Lang LaSalle will move to 330 Madison Avenue.

Since joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2002 as president of New York operations, Peter Riguardi has spearheaded a rapid expansion drive that has culminated in the hiring of no fewer than 100 new brokers over the past nine years. Mr. Riguardi, 50, spoke to The Commercial Observer last week about that ambitious hiring phase, the firm’s leasing assignment at 85 Broad Street and, for the first time, his plans to move the firm to 330 Madison Avenue.

Read More

Lease of the Week

A Room With A View (Of Central Park)

9 West 57th Street in all its glory.

For an emerging—albeit press-shy—wealth management firm like Forty North Capital LLC, snagging a prime block of office space on the 30th floor of a building that features stupefying views of Central Park and an intimidating list of titanic private equity tenants like Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Silver Lake Partners is indeed a bold move.

In August, Forty North signed a 10-year lease to take 17,000 square feet at 9 West 57th Street, a gleaming, 50-story skyscraper owned by real estate titan Sheldon Solow with an address that a business of any shape or size would kill to have on its business card. Read More

Hypotheticals

Google, Amazon to Set Up Brick-and-Mortar Shops in Times Square, One Broker Predicts

Google, the store, not the search engine.

Soon Times Square may be known for its iconic signage, its assortment of apparel shops like Forever 21 and American Eagle Outfitters, and, erm, Google?!

The vaunted tourist trap may be the perfect location for the web giant to test out a “brick and mortar” entity, said David LaPierre, executive vice president of CB Richard Ellis,.

“Theoretically at some point I envision brands like Google or like Amazon… finding a way to manage and spread, I think, their customer base beyond just the internet,” said Mr. LaPierre during CBRE’s third-quarter Manhattan retail media breakfast Monday.

“Time Square is a classic, great place to make that be your flagship.” Read More

Exclusive

Exclusive: Foursquare Nears Deal on Broadway

Foursquare

Location-based social network Foursquare will say goodbye to its longtime office mates at 36 Cooper Square. The startup, which raised a $50 million round of funding this summer, has vastly outgrown the 7,600 square feet at the East Village digs it shares with Curbed and web design shop Hard Candy Shell, and is negotiating a sublease for the top two floors at 568 Broadway. Read More

The Sit-Down

The Chief Executive of Edge Fund Advisors Talks About 1540 Broadway

Mark Keller and Edge Fund Advisors acquired 1540 Broadway in two phases.

Last month, CB Richard Ellis Investors sold its remaining 51 percent stake in 1540 Broadway, the iconic, 42-story property also known as the Bertelsmann Building. For the buyers—Edge Fund Advisors and HSBC Alternative Investments Limited—the deal marks the final chapter in an acquisition grab that began last year when the joint venture took a 49 percent nonmanaging member stake. Mark Keller, Edge’s chief executive and chairman, spoke to The Commercial Observer about the investment strategy and plans to expand his company’s reach from the nation’s capital to the Big Apple.

Read More

Lease Beat

Three Staten Island Leases Inked

Retouched Bay Street

Three transactions valued at 17,000 square feet were inked at 60 Bay Street in Staten Island, it was announced Monday. The 10-story Class-A office building is located across the street from the $220 million new Staten Island courthouse set to open in 2012. Read More