Lease Beat

Bank Leumi Signs 58,548-SF Lease at 350 Madison

350 Madison Avenue

Bank Leumi USA, the largest subsidiary of Israeli bank The Leumi Group, signed a long-term lease earlier this month for 58,548 square feet at 350 Madison Avenue as The New York Post reported. Asking rents in the building range from $60 per square foot  in the base to $85 per square foot  in the penthouse.

Occupying the entirety of floors three, four and six, the Israel-based financial services firm will be the building’s largest tenant. Read More

The Lobby

CBRE Brings on Jeff Fischer as a First Vice President in Manhattan Office

Jeff Fischer.

Jeff Fischer, a rising star in the leasing brokerage sphere, has been named a first vice president by CBRE. Formerly a senior vice president at commercial real estate firm JLL, Mr. Fischer specializes in advising tenants on renewing leases, finding new office space and restructuring terms and was featured on Commercial Observer’s “30 Under 30” list in 2012. Upon his 2012 appointment to vice president, Mr. Fischer was JLL’s youngest broker in the tristate region to hold that title. Read More


CBRE’s Mary Ann Tighe Has Revitalized NYC One Lease at a Time


Almost every visitor who steps foot in New York City is familiar with the handiwork of Mary Ann Tighe, whether they know it or not. When the tri-state chief executive officer of CBRE started in real estate, Times Square was a dumping ground for the dregs of the city—but it looked very different when she was through. She was the one developer Larry Silverstein turned to when he needed to lease up his little Downtown project, the World Trade Center. And if you look at her roster of real estate clients—Coach, The New York Times Company, News Corp., the Archdiocese of New York—they’re the most serious companies and brands in the world.

Aside from being one of the greatest dealmakers in New York real estate, Ms. Tighe has the distinction of being one of the most sophisticated bigwigs in her industry; when she was still in her 20s, she was a staff member for the Smithsonian and an arts adviser to Vice President Walter Mondale.

Commercial Observer spoke to Ms. Tighe in her office at the MetLife Building about the de Blasio administration, the World Trade Center and her days working in the White House. Read More

The Sit-Down

CBRE’s Stephen Siegel on the World Trade Center, Working With His Kids and Sarabeth’s

Steven Siegel. (Sasha Maslov)

Last September, Stephen Siegel co-represented Hudson’s Bay Company, parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue, in its plans to consolidate its New York City offices and relocate to 410,000 square feet at Brookfield Place. The transaction included additional space at 225 Liberty Street and 250 Vesey Street. That was the ninth largest lease signed in all of 2014.

Mr. Siegel is no stranger to big deals as the chairman of global brokerage at CBRE, where he has worked since the firm acquired Insignia Financial Group in 2003. Prior to the merger, Mr. Siegel was the president of Insignia Financial Group and the chairman and chief executive officer of Insignia/ESG, the latter of which was the commercial real estate division of Insignia Financial Group. (Insignia Financial Group acquired Edward S. Gordon Company, or ESG, then New York’s largest commercial real estate company, in 1996.) Read More

Mortgage Observer

Retail Lending Surges As Investors Hunt Yield: CBRE

Lender Market Share (CBRE)

Lending on retail properties in the U.S. skyrocketed in the first three quarters of 2014, up more than 50 percent from the same period the year before, a new report from CBRE provided exclusively to Mortgage Observer shows.

Driving the trend was the appetite for yield, as low interest and cap rates drove the expedient investor away from the tried and true multifamily sector and into the arms of retail. Read More

Market Reports

CBRE’s Q4 2014 Report Reaffirms Downtown’s Strength

CBRE Group today released its fourth-quarter 2014 statistics that included figures on the full-year 2014 Manhattan market, confirming what many in the New York real estate space had already known: Downtown’s resurgence is continuing unabated.

The report, issued at the company’s quarterly media breakfast at its 200 Park Avenue New York headquarters, shows that average asking rents Downtown reached an all-time high, with an average asking rent of $51.97 per square foot, a $5.50 increase from 2013. Read More

Cover Story

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

Lease Beat

Financial Firm Grabs Larger Footprint by Bryant Park

452 Fifth Avenue

Financial advisory firm StormHarbour Securities will move into a 24,000-square-foot spread on the 29th and 30th floors of PBC USA Real Estate‘s renovated tower at 452 Fifth Avenue, the landlord announced today.

The London-based independent firm, which boasts a staff of nearly 200 and other offices in Lisbon, Madrid, Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo, signed an 11-year lease to relocate its New York City office before the second quarter of this year from its current 16,000-square-foot space at 140 East 45th Street. Read More

Mortgage Observer

Rockpoint Acquires UES High Rise for $218M With Wells Fargo Loan

The Wimbledon at 200 East 82nd Street.

Rockpoint Group acquired The Wimbledon, a 28-story apartment high rise on the Upper East Side, for $218 million, or $977,578 per unit, with a $115 million loan from Wells Fargo, city records show.

The Boston-based real estate investment firm purchased the luxury rental building at 200 East 82nd Street from J.P. Morgan Investment Management in a deal brokered by Darcy Stacom and Paul Liebowitz of CBRE. Read More

Lease Beat

Hedge Funds to Move to New Boston Properties Building

250 West 55th Street

Two hedge funds will relocate in the first quarter of 2015 to the 30th floor of Boston Properties‘ newly-minted building at 250 West 55th Street through respective seven-year leases, Commercial Observer has learned.

Twin Capital Management will move to a 5,630-square-foot space at the building between Broadway and Eighth Avenue from its current office at 140 East 45th Street near Grand Central, while Glazer Capital will switch to a new 5,230-square-foot footprint at the new 39-story Skidmore Owings & Merrill from its spread at 623 Fifth Avenue, sources close to the negotiations told CO. Read More

The Lobby

CBRE Veteran Broker Eric Yarbro Joins Colliers

Eric Yarbro

Colliers International added Eric Yarbro to its team as an executive managing director on Dec. 9, Commercial Observer has learned.

Mr. Yarbro, who was previously a senior vice president at CBRE, arranged over $500 million in transactions during his 27 years there, he told CO. The office leasing agent who has represented clients like General Motors, AOL, Eastman Kodak, Prudential Financial, Fifth Third Bank, Western Union, Teachers Village, and Servcorp now joins a new team. Read More

Mergers and Acquisitions

CBRE Acquires Real Estate Consulting Firm IVI International

The CBRE Headquarters at 200 Park Avenue.

Commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE has acquired IVI International, a construction, property condition and environmental consulting company, according to a press release issued by CBRE.

In a prepared statement, CBRE noted that IVI International, founded in 1973 and based in  White Plains, N.Y.,  has provided consulting services to lenders and equity investors on more than $50 billion of real estate projects around the world. The firm’s high-profile domestic projects include the Wynn Las Vegas, the Time Warner Center, One57 and the Empire State Building. The firm has also done work throughout South America, Europe and Asia. Read More